An article by Francisca Gusmão, the Global Tree Initiative project specialist.
Each year, on June 29th, we observe International Day of the Tropics. This day raises awareness about various challenges that tropical nations face. Additionally, it is a day to celebrate the extraordinary diversity of the tropics.
The tropics are regions of the Earth that lie roughly in the middle of the globe between the latitude lines of the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. The Equator and parts of North America, South America, Africa, Asia, and Australia are included in the tropics
Typically, tropical locations are warm and experience little seasonal change in day-to-day temperature. A distinctive characteristic of the tropics is the prevalence of rain in the areas close to the equator. As one moves further away from the Equator, seasonal changes become more severe.
The tropical region faces several modern-day challenges such as climate change, deforestation, logging, urbanization, and demographic changes.
Why should we care about tropical ecosystems?
Most biodiversity hotspots are found in the tropics. Around 50% of described species can be found there. It is estimated that an even larger number of unknown species are also living in the tropical zone.
Moreover, this region of the globe plays a big role in global carbon and energy cycles. Rainforests are natural air filters. They store and filter excess carbon and other pollutants from the atmosphere and release oxygen through photosynthesis. Without rainforests, our planet is unable to mitigate excess greenhouse gas emissions, which destabilize the Earth’s climate. This means that the deforestation of tropical forests is a significant contributor to carbon emissions.
Another relevant reason for the conservation of tropical forests is that they provide a livelihood for millions of people. It is estimated that by 2050, the region will host most of the world’s people and two-thirds of its children.
Regardless of where in the world we live, we are connected. We share this one marvelous planet. Regardless of where in the world we live, we need healthy, vibrant, biodiverse tropics. Only then, can our local ecosystems thrive.
There are plenty of ecosystem restoration activities happening in the Tropical area. Let’s gather up with our local groups and organizations and help recover the beauty and important function of the Tropics.
You are invited:
Celebrate the International Day of the Tropics
Report Launch – The Digital Divide in the Tropics
29 June 2021 – Webinar
3.30 pm AEST
You can watch the webinar here.
Links for you: