Covering only 6% of Earth’s surface, rainforests are tropical rain-soaked regions that are home to half of Earth’s plant and animal species. Latin America contains nearly 60% of all tropical rainforests, one third of them in Brazil alone - while Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands and West Africa contain the rest. Some rainforests have existed for 100 million years. Several plants identified as promising cancer treatments are found only in these areas - even though less than 4% of all rainforest species have been chemically analyzed. At least 78 million acres of rainforest are destroyed each year and more than 20% of Brazil’s Amazon rainforest is already gone. At present rates of destruction, this valuable resource could vanish by 2040. Many forces such as logging, farming, ranching, mining, oil extraction and climate change contribute to rainforest deforestation.

For much of the past 2 years, large parts of the Amazon rainforest have been set ablaze. It is estimated that over 3,500 square miles of rainforest within the Amazon biome was lost to fires in 2019. And these fires have continued in 2020, burning an additional 5,000 square miles. Brazilian officials claim 30% of the 2019 fires occurred on illegally occupied land, started by land grabbers speculating on real estate.

Pending Legislation: Reintroduction of S.1405 - Targeting Environmental and Climate Recklessness Act of 2021
Prospective Sponsor: Sen. Edward Markey (MA)

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Poll Opening Date
May 22, 2023
Poll Closing Date
May 28, 2023

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