The earth's forests, cover over 30% of its land surface, keeps our planet's ecosystem sustainable.

Trees absorb carbon dioxide and generate oxygen, which makes the atmosphere life-friendly.

Humanity has gradually been eliminating the world's forests over the last century.


KEY: Blue Outline Shows Amazon Basin White Outline Shows Amazon Biome

The Amazon represents over half of the planet's remaining rainforests, and comprises the largest and most biodiverse tract of tropical rainforest in the world, with an estimated 390 billion individual trees divided into 16,000 species.

More than 30 million people of 350 different ethnic groups live in the Amazon, which are subdivided into 9 different national political systems and 3,344 formally acknowledged indigenous territories. Indigenous peoples make up 9% of the total population with 60 of the groups remaining largely isolated.


Some of the larger cities situated in this biome are Murmansk, Arkhangelsk, Yakutsk, Anchorage, Yellowknife, Tromsø, Luleå, and Oulu.

Large areas of Siberia's taiga have been harvested for lumber since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Previously, the forest was protected by the restrictions of the Soviet Forest Ministry, but with the collapse of the Union, the restrictions regarding trade with Western nations have vanished. Trees are easy to harvest and sell well, so loggers have begun harvesting Russian taiga evergreen trees for sale to nations previously forbidden by Soviet law.

In Canada, only eight percent of the taiga is protected from development, and the provincial governments allows clearcutting to occur on Crown land, which destroys the forest in large blocks. The blocks are replanted with monocrop seedlings in the following season, but the trees do not grow back for many years, and the forest ecosystem is radically changed for 100s of years. Products from logged boreal forests include toilet paper, copy paper, newsprint, and lumber. More than 90% of boreal forest products from Canada are exported for consumption and processing in the United States.

Most companies that harvest in Canadian forests use some certification by agencies such as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), Sustainable Forests Initiative (SFI), or the Canadian Standards Association (CSA), in their marketing. While the certification process differs between these groups, all of them include some mention of undefined "forest stewardship", "respect for aboriginal peoples", and compliance with local, provincial or national environmental laws, forest worker safety, education and training, and other issues. The certification is largely about tracking, to ensure traceability, and does not de-certify lumber obtained from clearcuts, or taken without the consent of aboriginal peoples.

Climate change

During the last quarter of the twentieth century, the zone of latitude occupied by the boreal forest experienced some of the greatest temperature increases on Earth. Winter temperatures have increased more than summer temperatures. In summer, the daily low temperature has increased more than the daily high temperature.

The number of days with extremely cold temperatures (e.g., −20 to −40 °C (−4 to −40 °F) has decreased irregularly but systematically in nearly all the boreal region, allowing better survival for tree-damaging insects.

In Fairbanks, Alaska, the length of the frost-free season has increased from 60 to 90 days in the early twentieth century to about 120 days a century later. Summer warming has been shown to increase water stress and reduce tree growth in dry areas of the southern boreal forest in central Alaska, western Canada and portions of far eastern Russia. Precipitation is relatively abundant in Scandinavia, Finland, northwest Russia and eastern Canada, where a longer growth season (i.e. the period when sap flow is not impeded by frozen water) accelerate tree growth. As a consequence of this warming trend, the warmer parts of the boreal forests are susceptible to replacement by grassland, parkland or temperate forest.

In Siberia, the taiga is converting from predominantly needle-shedding larch trees to evergreen conifers in response to a warming climate. This is likely to further accelerate warming, as the evergreen trees will absorb more of the sun's rays. Given the vast size of the area, such a change has the potential to affect areas well outside of the region. In much of the boreal forest in Alaska, the growth of white spruce trees are stunted by unusually warm summers, while trees on some of the coldest fringes of the forest are experiencing faster growth than previously. Lack of moisture in the warmer summers are also stressing the birch trees of central Alaska.


The Eurasia Taiga is part of the World's biome (major life zone) of vegetation composed primarily of cone-bearing needle-leaved or scale-leaved evergreen trees forest of the cold, subarctic region. The subarctic region is an area of the Northern Hemisphere that lies just south of the Arctic Circle. In Eurasia, it covers most of Sweden, Finland, much of Russia from Karelia in the west to the Pacific Ocean (including much of Siberia), much of Norway and Estonia, some of the Scottish Highlands, some lowland/coastal areas of Iceland, and areas of northern Kazakhstan, northern Mongolia, and northern Japan (on the island of Hokkaidō).


The North America Boreal Forest is the world's largest productive ecosystem, more than a 1.5 billion acres of pristine forests, wetlands, lakes, rivers and streams. A keystone habitat for the hemisphere's migratory waterfowl and songbird populations, it also supports vast populations of fish and other wildlife. Moreover, as the world's most extensive terrestrial carbon sink and largest reservoir of surface water, the North American Boreal Forest is CRITICAL in regulating global climate.

The boreal forest of the North American continent stretches through a majority of Canada and most of central Alaska, extending spottily into the beginning of the Rocky Mountain range in Northern Montana and into New England and the Adirondack Mountains of New York. This habitat extends as far north as the tree line (replaced by the High Arctic tundra) and discontinues in mixed deciduous-coniferous forests to the south.


The Congo Basin is the sedimentary basin of the Congo River. The Congo Basin is located in Central Africa, in a region known as west equatorial Africa. The Congo Basin region is sometimes known simply as the Congo. It contains some of the largest tropical rainforests in the world and is an important source of water used in agriculture and energy generation.

Because of its size and diversity, many experts have characterized the basin's forest as important for mitigating climate change because of its role as a carbon sink. However, deforestation and degradation of the ecology due to the impacts of climate change may increase stress on the forest ecosystem, in turn making the hydrology of the basin more variable.In turn, a 2012 study found that the variability in precipitation due to climate change will negatively effect economic activity in the basin.

8 sites of the Congo Basin are inscribed on the World Heritage List, 5 being also on the list of World Heritage in Danger (all 5 located in DRC). 14% of the humid forest is designated as protected.


Indonesia has surpassed the rate of deforestation in Brazil and become the fastest forest clearing nation in the world. Forests of Indonesia are the third largest tropical forests in the world.

Indonesian tropical rain forests are one of the greatest biodiversity hotspots on Earth. ... Many rare animal species can only be found in Indonesia's forests — from orangutans, Sumatran tigers, birds and rhinos — which are increasingly threatened by extinction.

The Indonesian archipelago of about 17,000 islands is home to some of the most biodiverse forests in the world. In 1900 the total forest represented 84% of the total land area. By 1950 plantations and smallholder plantings of tree crops still only covered a small area. The forest cover by that time is estimated to 145 million ha (hectares) of primary forest and another 14 million ha (hectares) of secondary and tidal forest.

In the early 1970s Indonesia used this valuable resource to its economic benefit with the development of the country's wood-processing industries. From the late 1980s to 2000, production capacity has increased nearly 700% in the pulp and paper industries, making Indonesia the world's ninth largest pulp producer and eleventh largest paper producer.

The rate of deforestation continues to increase. The 2009 State Environment Report launched by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono revealed that the number of fire hotspots rose to 32,416 in 2009 from only 19,192 in 2008. The Environment Ministry blamed the increase on weak law enforcement and a lack of supervision from local authorities, with land clearance as the primary cause of the fires.

Between 1990 and 2000 20% of the forest area in Indonesia had been lost (24 million ha) and by 2010, only 52% of the total land area was forested (94 million ha). Even despite a moratorium on new logging contracts imposed in 2010, the rate of deforestation continued to increase to an estimated 840,000 hectares in 2012, surpassing deforestation in Brazil.