Sunday, February 3, 2008

The Rainforest is ESSENTIAL in the fight of cancer

Facts about the Abundant Life and Important Resources that Rainforests Share with Us:

A typical four square mile patch of rainforest contains as many as 1,500 flowering plants, 750 species of trees, 400 species of birds and 150 species of butterflies.

Rainforests provide many important products for people: timber, coffee, cocoa and many medicinal products, including those used in the treatment of cancer.

Seventy percent of the plants identified by the U.S. National Cancer Institute as useful in the treatment of cancer are found only in rainforests.

More than 2,000 tropical forest plants have been identified by scientists as having anti-cancer properties.

Less than one percent of the tropical rainforest species have been analyzed for their medicinal value.

Facts about the Threats to Rainforests, Indigenous People and Species:

Rainforests are threatened by unsustainable agricultural, ranching, mining and logging practices.

Before 1500 A.D., there were approximately 6 million indigenous people living in the Brazilian Amazon. But as the forests disappeared, so too did the people. In the early 1900s, there were less than 250,000 indigenous people living in the Amazon.

Originally, 6 million square miles of tropical rainforest existed worldwide. But as a result of deforestation, only 2.6 million square miles remain.

At the current rate of tropical forest loss, 5-10 percent of tropical rainforest species will be lost per decade.

Nearly 90 percent of the 1.2 billion people living in extreme poverty worldwide depend on forests for their livelihoods.

Fifty-seven percent of the world’s forests, including most tropical forests, are located in developing countries.

Every second, a slice of rainforest the size of a football field is mowed down. That's 86,400 football fields of rainforest per day, or over 31 million football fields of rainforest each year.

More than 56,000 square miles of natural forest are lost each year.

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