On June 22, 2017 The first World Rainforest Day was launched as a collaborative effort to raise awareness and encourage action to protect the world’s rainforests. Rainforests are vital for the survival of life on Earth. We depend on them for 20% of the oxygen we breathe and the freshwater we drink. They absorb our carbon dioxide, stabilize climate patterns, and are home to half the world’s plant and animal species. In Rwanda, we have for instance, the Nyungwe National Park, which is also the largest protected high-altitude rainforest of East Africa.
Seeing is believing, Despite being a big and mountainous forest, it is a very diverse forest, a home to different species, and Rwanda’s largest water catchment area. Being home to over 300 bird species of which 27 of them are endemic to the region, 75 mammal species as well as 13 primate species; not forgetting that it boasts more than 200 different types of trees and 140 species of orchids. The Nyungwe National Park also contains numerous medicinal plants that have served as remedies for centuries and it is believed one of the oldest forest in Africa.
On June 22, we celebrate the Word Rainforest Day. Rainforests are lungs to our planet, they help during carbon sequestration, they produce a large quantity of oxygen we breathe and most importantly, they are home to a large number of diverse species. However, they are being lost due to human activities like agriculture, timber production and a large area is being lost every year.
World Rainforest Day is an opportunity to celebrate this precious natural resource each year and take action to preserve it. Let’s put our hands together and protect our rainforests.