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Rainforest Facts

  • Rainforest plants are very important to us; over a quarter of Western pharmaceuticals contain ingredients that come from the rainforests.
  • Sadly, experts estimate that we are losing 137 plant, animal and insect species every single day because of deforestation. That’s over 50,000 species a year!
  • The Amazon rainforest covers over a billion acres spread over Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.
  • Five centuries ago, there were an estimated 10 million indigenous people living in the Amazon rainforest.  Today less than 2% remain.
  • There are an estimated 10 million species of plants and animals living on Earth.  Of these, over 50% live in tropical rainforests!
  • If the Amazon rainforest was a country, it would be the 9th largest in the world.  Only Russia, Canada, China, USA, Brazil, Australia, India and Argentina would be bigger.
  • One hectare (about the size of one football pitch) of tropical rainforest can contain over 750 different types of trees!
  • The Congo Rainforest contains 70% of Africa’s plants.
  • During the wet season, the rivers within the Amazon Basin can contain 20% of the entire world’s fresh water!  That’s over 200,000 tonnes of water!
  • 20% of the world's fresh water is held in the rivers within Amazon Basin.
  • One quarter of the active ingredients in today's cancer-fighting drugs come from living things found only in the tropical rainforests.