End the destruction of tropical forests by protecting remaining stands of trees, restoring degraded areas, incentivizing regenerative management, and respecting Indigenous rights.
Tropical rainforests are highly endangered ecosystems critical to life on Earth. Although they occupy less than 10 percent of all land, they hold more than half of the world’s biological diversity, including tigers, jaguars, macaws, tapirs, gorillas, monkeys, and orangutans. Tropical forests are home to Indigenous and traditional communities. They play an essential role in regulating the Earth’s climate. The largest forests are located in Africa, Indonesia, and South America. Historically, tropical forests have been an important sink for atmospheric carbon dioxide. However, as a result of deforestation many tropical forests are becoming a net source of greenhouse gases. Human activity, including logging, mining, development, agriculture, and demand for rubber has caused one-third of the original rainforests to be lost and one-third to be degraded. The final third is intact but under threat. The destruction of tropical forests needs to end, followed by permanent protection. Supporting the rights of Indigenous peoples is critical to success. Nearly a quarter of all tropical forests are managed by Indigenous peoples, who provide a buffer against logging and human-caused fires.