Composed of millions of unique ecosystems, rainforests are the central nervous system of our planet—a hotbed of evolution, life, and diversity.

This video shows the Rainforests’s impact our lives on a daily basis and how losing them would be an insurmountable disaster for humans.

Tropical rainforests are home to 80 percent of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity, all squeezed into a narrow strip of equatorial land. They are also home to millions of human beings that have been a part of forest ecosystem for thousands of years. Together, rainforests offer a gallery of the most beautiful, awe-inspiring places and creatures on Earth.
Today, most of the industrialized world senses little connection to the rainforest, living in large, busy cities far away from these fertile ecological powerhouses. We forget that the forest regularly saves our global food supply by offering new, disease-resistant crops. We forget about the hundreds of billions of dollars worth of trade in timber, non-timber forest products and forest-derived pharmaceuticals. We forget about things that are ultimately beyond value: the livelihoods of millions of forest communities, a stable and livable climate for us all, the existence of most of our fellow species, and simple things we take for granted, like regular rain and clean air.

Thus far, our human family has erased half of our original endowment of rainforests. Our world is now facing a sixth mass extinction—the greatest extinction crisis since the fall of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. The future of over half of Earth’s plants and animals—and hundreds of human cultures—will be determined within the next few decades.

Since our lives are so dependent on the forest’s bounty, our future is at stake as well.

This piece was originally posted on rainforest-alliance.org.

Video created by Alexis Harmon. 

Also Read:

Cycling the TransAmazonian Highway: An Adventurer on a trip of a lifetime

A Tropical Wildlife Paradise: 9 Most Beautiful Rainforests in the World