top of page

What Will Happen if we Destroy All the Rainforests

The catastrophic impact that rainforest destruction will have on our future

When people think of rainforests they typically think of The Amazon, but there is more to these precious habitats than this, The Amazon is the largest rainforest in the world, but it is not the only one. Rainforests are primarily located near the equator, where the climate is consistently warm and humid with high levels of frequent rainfall. The Congo Basin Rainforest is the second largest tropical rainforest, located in Central Africa it spans several countries including Cameroon and Gabon. There are several rainforests in Southeast Asia, including the rainforests of the Indonesian archipelago, Vietnam and Laos. There are also beautiful rainforest in Central America and the Caribbean, but these are rarely included in the conversation

Why Do Rainforests Matter

Rainforests are a vital part of the planet's ecosystem, playing a crucial role in maintaining global climate stability, conserving biodiversity and supporting countless animal and plant species. The destruction of the rainforests is having far reaching consequences that extend beyond their immediate surroundings and are affecting us all already.

rainforest rope bridge
If we destroy the rainforests we destroy everything

Grave Losses

Rainforests are the most diverse ecosystems on Earth, housing millions of species, many of which are yet to be discovered. The destruction of rainforests would result plants and animals losing their homes, pushing them to extinction. The destruction of these beings and their habitats will disrupt the delicate ecological balances and have cascading effects that will impact the whole planet.

Rainforests also act as carbon sinks, they mitigate the damage that humans do by absorbing huge amounts of carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen though the photosynthesis that takes place in plant and trees. Their destruction would release vast amounts of carbon into the atmosphere, exacerbating climate change, rising temperatures, altered rainfall patterns and extreme weather events would adversely affect the ability for plants to grow, limiting the food available to the creatures that eat them. This would have a cascading affect on food chains. Also, this accelerated climate change would cause many animals to migrate in an attempt to find somewhere suitable to live, this could leave them stranded in parts of the planet that cannot truly sustain them, the climate may be wrong, there may be no food for them, no shelter, their extinction would be inevitable.

The level of climate change that we would witness with the extinction of the rainforest forest would be beyond anything that we are seeing now. The droughts, forest fires, flooding, rising sea levels washing homes and habitats away, displacing people, it has started already and will continue at an accelerated pace. In the USA the wildfires of California are expected and no one is surprised that they get worse every year. In the UK floods and coastal erosion has ravaged areas of built up land with villages being flooded and houses being washed out to sea. Canada suffers from unprecedented heat waves and wildfires. In Somalia, Pakistan and Afghanistan droughts are killing people, every year it gets worse. This is all partly due to the knock on affect of rainforest destruction, ruining the order and functioning of the planet's climate. Then there is the eventual fallout of not being able to grow enough food, don't worry about going vegan, you won't have a choice but to not eat meat, there won't be any. There won't be enough food to feed billions of animals for burgers, nuggets and kebabs, there won't be enough food to feed the humans.

When it comes to water and rainfall, the intricate canopies of rainforests intercept rainfall, so that instead of falling straight to the ground the water filters through the layers of vegetation before reaching soil. Water captured in pools on leaves provide drinking water for birds, primates and insects. They also release vast amounts of water into the atmosphere through evaporation and transpiration. By absorbing rainfall and releasing it gradually, the plants and trees of rainforests prevent flooding and maintain water sources. As the planet's rainforests are destroyed, this balance is being disrupted, we are already seeing reduced soil fertility, increased soil erosion and reduced water quality.

Soil protection, preservation and nourishing is done by the trees of the rainforests. They bind soil with their roots, preventing soil erosion, this also keeps the soil intact and safeguards it's fertility with the cycle of taking nutrients form the soil through their roots and replacing it with leaf drop and the rotting of organic material. However, as rainforests are cleared the soil losses it's quality and is easily eroded by wind and water. This results in the loss of topsoil, making the survival or plants, seedlings and saplings difficult, if not impossible, there is nothing for their roots to bind to. The poor quality, eroded soil will end up in waterways, washed away by rains, leading to water pollution, which kills plants and other aquatic life, destroying these ecosystems as well.

Humans Suffer Too

Many indigenous communities call rainforests home, relying on them for sustenance, cultural practices and traditional knowledge. The destruction of rainforests would not only displace these communities, but also strip them of their ancestral land, disrupting their way of life and lead to social and economic instability. By protecting these precious areas of the planet, preventing further damage and loss we can help to safeguard the rights, well-being and homes of these communities.

Rainforests have a lot of potential for the future of human and animal health, they are nature's pharmacy, a treasure trove of medicinal plants, many of which have not yet been studied. These plants could be the key to treating or preventing many diseases that cause a lot of suffering to both humans and animals. Many of the treatments that we use today have their origins in the rainforests around the world, their destruction would mean never having the opportunity to find more treatments or cures, hindering medical advancements. As rainforests are being cleared for the greed of humans no thought is given to this, the forests are cleared, burned, ripped out, with nothing but damage left behind.

If we continue to ruin, destroy, kill, annihilate and exterminate the rainforests, we will continue to ruin, destroy, kill, annihilate and exterminate ourselves. The consequences of rainforest destruction are far-reaching, affecting the climate, biodiversity, water cycles, soil fertility, the lives of indigenous peoples and even medical breakthroughs. This has to stop, for all of our sakes, whether this means something small like avoiding palm oil in foods, something larger like going vegan or something huge like dedicating your life to rainforest preservation and protection, we all have to come together to save and restore on of the most precious resources that our planet, our home, has.


bottom of page