How are people being affected?
Deforestation of the World’s Rainforests
As Rainforests and the species living there disappear, so do many possible cures for life-threatening diseases. For hundreds of years the Rainforests have been home to hundreds of thousands of tribesman and Indians that have accumulated centuries of knowledge of the medicinal value of Rainforest species.
Five centuries ago there were an estimated ten million Indigenous people in the Amazon alone. Today they are less than 200,000. Also, of the 121 prescription drugs sold worldwide 74 percent were discovered through follow-up research to verify the authenticity of information concerning the medical uses of these plants by indigenous people. Despite this, scientists have tested less than 1% of these tropical trees and plants. Therefore, the Rainforests could offer the resources to create possible cures and treatments for many unsolved diseases and viruses.
As the gene pool from the rainforests continues to fall, there will be less opportunities to explore these species that could offer solutions for the cure of many terminal diseases such as AIDS and Cancer. The effect that this could have on future generations could be incalculable.
However, as their homelands are being destroyed, these indigenous people and their knowledge of these medicinal plants and species are disappearing.