"Even though tropical forests seem a long way away from most of us, they play a vital role in all our lives, every day. In fact, rainforests are essential for the wellbeing of everyone, because they are the world’s natural air-conditioning and thermostat systems. They act as the cooling belt around the centre of our planet. They help provide the oxygen that we breathe and they generate much of the rainfall that is essential around the world for producing food to meet the demands of our growing global population.
Rainforests are also undeniably linked to our ability to prevent catastrophic climate change and that is why His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales established his Rainforests Project.
Widespread destruction of a precious resource: Tropical forests absorb nearly a sixth of all man-made CO2 emissions around the world. This greatly helps to minimise the effects of climate change. However, these same rainforests are currently being destroyed at the rate of an area the size of a football pitch every four seconds. To make matters worse, when the rainforests are burnt down – to clear land for commercial farming or mining, for example – they release all the CO2 that they have stored back into the atmosphere. The alarming scale of this rapid burning of the rainforests around the world means that the annual level of CO2 emissions created by tropical deforestation is actually greater than that produced by the entire global transport network. It is for this reason that The Prince's Rainforests Project (PRP) has the clear ambition to ‘Make the trees worth more alive than dead’. Encouraging international action: We are working with governments, businesses and non-profit organisations around the world to find solutions to deforestation – and to find them fast. In particular, we have identified the need for an Emergency Package of funding for rainforest nations to help protect the rainforests."