The clearing of tropical rainforests destroys some of the most biodiverse ecosystems on Earth and the natural habitat of many of the world’s most iconic wildlife such as tigers, elephants, orangutans, rhinoceroses, jaguars and many more.
Although tropical rainforests now cover just 2 percent of the globe, they are home to more than half the world’s living plant and animal species. The Amazon rainforest in South America, for example, contains an estimated 40,000 plant species, 3,000 freshwater fish species, and more than 370 types of reptiles. On the other side of the world, the islands of Borneo and Sumatra are Southeast Asia’s last major intact forests and are home to tremendous biodiversity, including over 15,000 known plant species and the last 400 Sumatran tigers remaining in the wild.
Tragically, these critical places and species are being destroyed right now as the world loses a football field-sized area of forest every minute. A recent study showed that, just since 1970, the world has lost about half of all wildlife populations around the world. At the center of this crisis is the unsustainable expansion of industrial agriculture into thriving forests. The rainforests of South America, Southeast Asia and Africa are being cleared daily to make way for monoculture plantations of soybeans, palm oil, sugar cane, cattle pasture and other commodities. As forests are destroyed, there are fewer and fewer places for wildlife to go, and it will only be a matter of time before even more species are gone forever.
That’s why Forest Heroes and our partners have worked to convince many of the world’s largest agribusinesses and consumer brands to protect wildlife and biodiversity by eliminating deforestation from their supply chains. These leading companies are promising not to source products like palm oil from the clearing of High Conservation Value forests and to take strong measures to protect native and endangered species. This is a hugely important step for protecting the world’s remaining wildlife, but we must do more.
Companies need to know that consumers and concerned citizens do not support the destruction of wildlife habitat. Tigers, orangutans and elephants can’t wait any longer: take action with us here today.