Why It Matters
Trees and other plants in protected areas soak up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it away as they grow and thrive. By protecting forests in Brazil through the Amazon Region Protected Areas Program, we’ve avoided the emission of 1.4 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the air.
Eighty percent of the world’s known terrestrial plant and animal species can be found in forests, many of which are protected. A square kilometer of forest may be home to more than 1,000 species.
People Depend on Forests
Most protected areas include land set aside for sustainable uses that benefit local people—such as harvesting rubber and nuts from trees. This provides incentives for local communities—not just the government—to play a role in creating and managing protected areas.
Protected areas slow the spread of deforestation. The network of Brazilian forests protected through the Amazon Region Protected Areas program, for example, is credited with helping to reduce deforestation by 75 percent from 2000 to 2012.