Nov 17, 2022
Brazil, Indonesia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) are home to 52% of the world’s rainforests. This week, the three nations signed a pact. Their goal is to make sure their rainforests will be protected. Environmentalists argue it's a needed step to fight climate change.
“Cooperation — Brazil, Indonesia, DRC — is very natural,” a DRC official told Reuters. “We have the same challenges, the same opportunity to be the solution to climate change.”
Rainforests like the ones in Brazil and Indonesia are vital to Earth’s stability. They're often called the “world’s lungs.” The forests convert huge amounts of carbon dioxide into oxygen. Plants in the rainforest are also carbon sinks. They store millions of tons of greenhouse gases. If released, the gases would rise into the atmosphere. Once there, they’d trap heat and warm the globe.
In recent years, though, deforestation has harmed the rainforests. It's made it hard for them to lessen the effects of climate change. In the past three years alone, 13,000 square miles of forest were burned in the Amazon. The burning of rainforests has released more carbon than they absorb. And demand for farmland and timber continues to grow. Economic powers like the US and China have a high demand for wood.
The group of nations’ first goal is to get the money needed to protect existing forests and regrow what has been lost. They are hoping other, wealthier countries will help. All countries benefit from the forests.
“Forests matter, nature matters. And I do believe that without Amazon protection, we cannot have climate security,” said Brazil’s environmental advisor.
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