- Published: 08 July 2010
Deforestation is responsible for around one fifth of global greenhouse emissions.
Forests are like a huge machine that constantly cleans the air. The vegetation of a rainforest absorbs tons of carbon dioxide through photosynthesis and in turnreleases oxygen. Each tree produces an average of 20-30 litres per day, and although this is then absorbed in a budget of substantive equality, it is essential to the lives of millions of beings. In contrast, the destruction of forests, especially through fire (to cleanse the soil), burns oxygen and releases carbon into the atmosphere.
Much rainforest clearance in Indonesia is taking place on peatlands.This yields massive additional carbon emissions as the rich organic peat oxidizes or burns. With the loss of rainforest ecosystems we lose one of the planet's greatest carbon capture and storage systems and best adaptation mechanisms for global warming (up to 300 tons of carbon per hectare).