This research paper is about the natural wealth of the rain forests. It focuses, in particular, on the priceless treasure of plants that contain ingredients for, as yet, undiscovered drugs. While it is true that saving the rainforest’ movement has attracted a lot of attention in recent years, more work in this direction needs to be done if we are to avoid their complete destruction. Hence, this paper will attempt to bring out the importance of the rainforest in the context of the invaluable wealth it holds and discuss the key question of ” Do we have enough time to discover all of the drugs from the rain forest before we destroy it?- .
The rainforest is a dense, tropical forest in a region having a high annual rainfall. Rainforest are found mainly in South and Central America (the Amazon), West and Central Africa, Indonesia, parts of Southeast Asia, and tropical Australia. There is no one kind of rainforest although scientists divide them into three broad categories: tropical dry forests, tropical moist forests, and true tropical rainforests. (Britannica Article, 2001) .
Did you know that the rainforests covered over 15% of the earth’s land surface just 15 years ago? Today, they have shrunk to less than 6%. This is because it has been estimated that one and a half-acre of rainforest are being lost every second. If the present rate of destruction continues, we will manage to consume the remaining in the next 40 years. This would be a tragedy of catastrophic proportions. The scale of this ongoing tragedy can be gauged from the fact that 137 species of plants, animals and microorganisms are being lost every single day due to the destruction of the rainforests. This adds up to nearly half of the entire species of the entire world over the next 25 years. (Rainforest Facts, n.d.).
It is important that the reasons behind the rapid destruction of the rainforest are clearly identified.