Rainforest and coral reefs. More connected and important than ever before.
Providing ecosystem services vital to society, industry and the environment, both rainforests and corals are amongst the most biologically diverse, and beautiful, ecosystems on the planet.
Both are facing huge levels of threat
Deforestation is damaging oceans in several ways. As trees are felled, chemically-polluted water run-off, darkened with dissolved soil, can flow into the sea. The chemicals accumulate in fish and the sediment-filled waters prevent light from reaching corals.
With rainforests acting as a store for 40% of the world’s carbon, vast quantities of carbon dioxide are released when they’re burned. Increased carbon emissions are contributing more than ever to rising global temperatures and unpredictable weather patterns. As average temperatures rise, ice caps melt and the ocean temperature follows too. Highly sensitive corals are bleached as a result of this change. These ‘rainforests of the sea’, of which a quarter of marine life depends upon, are being damaged and destroyed at an unprecedented rate.
Recent research has revealed that the number of heatwaves affecting the planet’s oceans has increased sharply. The impact on wildlife have even been compared to “wildfires that take out huge areas of forest”.
With the world relying on the oceans for oxygen, food, storm protection and the removal of climate-warming carbon dioxide, the parallels between rainforest and ocean damage are increasingly clear.
Yet, despite this, there is an opportunity to make a difference
Stopping deforestation has benefits far beyond the land. Individuals can, and are, making a huge difference to the future of our rainforests and oceans. It all starts with keeping trees standing. This not only prevents polluted runoff into rivers and oceans but helps mitigate the speed at which seas are warming.
Cool Earth works with communities to halt deforestation, developing sustainable incomes that ensure the rainforest is more valuable when kept standing. By protecting rainforest and the people who live within them, we ensure that trees continue absorbing CO², preserving biodiversity both above and below the water. From keeping mangroves, the nurseries of the sea, safe to protecting rainforest that fuels the circulation of rain worldwide, the co-benefits or rainforest protection to the oceans are innumerable
From the big cats in the rainforest to the fish in the forest of corals, it’s vital that we do our part to protect these creatures. Urgent action is needed to safeguard their environments and the communities who depend upon them to survive.
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