World Rainforest Day: Celebrating the Amazon, the planet’s largest rainforest

The Amazon makes up almost a third of all tropical rainforests left on Earth, and is a vital carbon sink

Monday 22 June 2020 06:19 BST

Three hundred million people worldwide live in forests and 1.6 billion depend on them for their livelihoods. Forests provide habitat for a vast array of plants and animals, many of which are still undiscovered. These ecosystems are so much more than a collection of trees, they are home to 80 per cent of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity.

The Amazon Rainforest makes up nearly a third of all the tropical rainforests left on Earth and it plays a vital role in sustaining life on the planet to help stabilise the climate. Yet, this vast, tropical wilderness and its inhabitants are losing the fight for survival.

The Amazon’s 2020 fire season is imminent and set to be at least as bad as last year. This follows continued deforestation and illegal invaders who take advantage of reduced law enforcement to snatch indigenous and protected lands, destroying this precious and irreplaceable natural habitat.

These threats push the Amazon even closer to a "tipping point" which would be catastrophic for the wildlife, people and our climate.

Today marks World Rainforest Day and WWF wants to showcase the splendour that is the Amazon Rainforest. This photo series highlights its incredible biodiversity, resources, communities and its widespread beauty, while creating awareness of the continued threats it faces and the work happening to protect its life sustaining role.

We can all do something to help protect the Amazon. By doing what we can to stand with indigenous groups at this challenging time, speaking up to make sure our government knows we want them to act, or simply spreading the word to our friends or family – we can all make a difference.

Visit WWF’s 5 ways page to see what you can do

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in