1. People need forests to live
More than 1.6 billion people, including people in developed countries such as the United States, depend on forests for their livelihood to some degree. Out of these 1.6 billion, about 60 million are indigenous people who are completely dependent on forests for aspects of their survival such as food, water, and shelter.
Indigenous people from the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil
2. Clean water
In the United States, the sources of drinking water for almost 60% percent of the population are located in forests. Even urban areas such as New York City use water from forested areas. Trees help protect the lakes, rivers, and mountain streams we use for drinking water from harmful pollutants.
This forest is a source of clean water in Kentucky
3. Climate regulation
If you think deforestation in remote locations doesn’t affect you, think again. Large forests influence weather and precipitation patterns all over the world. In agricultural areas in South America, rainfall depends on the Amazon rainforest. The forest might even affect rainfall in the Great Plains, in the USA. Deforestation in Mongolia leads to harmful dust storms all over East Asia.
Locally, forests matter even more. Small forests and even groups of trees planted in cities help regulate the local weather and keep cities from overheating.
The Amazon Rainforest affects precipitation throughout the Americas
4. Absorbing carbon dioxide
Everyone knows trees emit the oxygen we breathe, but their other important role is absorbing carbon dioxide. By absorbing carbon dioxide, trees cut down greenhouse gas emissions that are a cause of global warming. Global warming isn’t just a possible problem in the future; it can directly impact you today. For instance, in the summer of 2003, the hottest in 500 years, thousands of Europeans died from heat-related causes.
Trees absorb carbon dioxide and emit oxygen
5. Forest products
People need forests for products such as paper, lumber, and furniture. Special types of wood are used for products such as panama hats, rubber, medicine, and even chewing gum. Deforestation could cause the cost of these products to rise tremendously.
Harvesting latex from a rubber tree
Would you like to know more?
You can read more about the benefits of forests by clicking these links:
Plant Trees at Home for the Planet: https://www.homeadvisor.com/r/plant-trees-at-home-for-the-planet/
10 reasons forests matter: http://blog.nature.org/conservancy/2010/12/04/top-ten-reasons-why-forests-matter/
How forests keep water sources in the United States clean: http://www.ajc.com/news/news/opinion/trees-play-key-role-in-purifying-our-water/nQfd7/
How tropical forests help against global warming: http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/solutions/stop-deforestation/tropical-deforestation-and-1.html#.VbKaH_lVjbo
Comprehensive article about deforestation: http://www.livescience.com/27692-deforestation.html