THE SIZE OF THE RAINFORESTS
Tropical rainforests covered about 12% of earth surface back in
some thousand years ago. Today, their total size is down to 5.3%
or about 2.6 million square miles comparing to 15.5 million square
km thousands years ago. Based on the book Rainforests, “the
United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization reported in 1991
that the tropical forests were being depleted at a rate of 0.9 percent
annually.” “According to the Rainforest Action Network,
‘if deforestation continues at current rates, scientists estimate
nearly 80-90 percent of tropical rainforest ecosystems will be destroyed
by the year 2020.’”
Brazil contains the most of the rainforest, about one-third of the
total rainforest area. The rest of the rainforests are spreading
all around the world. Combined with North America, Central America
contained about 5 million square miles of rainforest in history
verse less than 1.5 million acres today.
The largest rainforest, the Amazon rainforest, is located in South
America. 62% of the Amazon is at Brazil while the rest of 38% located
through out eight other countries in South America. It accumulated
5,026,552 km2 of lands. About 22,393 square miles of rainforest
are lost very year due to the burn-and-slush (estimate from Brazilian
In Africa, rainforests have been deforesting in a fast rate. Back
in the year of 1950, the West Africa contained about 123,000,000
acres of land. As time passed, 90% of the rainforests have been
lost. “Africa’s annual deforestation rate is 0.7%”.
Southern Asia is another area deforesting in a rapid rate. In fact,
this region is the most serious deforesting area, mainly due to
logging and other human activities. The deforestation rate is about
1.1% annually. This is the estimated for year 1990-1995. About 88%
of the rainforests have been lost.
All deforestations are due to the need of land for agriculture such
as burn-and-slush, the need of logging, infrastructure projects
for the country, and other human activities.