UNEP launches a virtual journey through three world’s forests

UNEP launches a virtual journey through three world’s forests

The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) has launched an online journey through some of the world’s most iconic landscapes. The campaign is part of a global effort, led by the UNEP, to raise awareness about the threats to wild animals.

A new interactive webpage allows netizens to explore three wildlife-rich forests: the Leuser in Indonesia (the island of Sumatra), the Kayah-Karen in Thailand and Myanmar, and the Gran Chaco, which courses through Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia and Brazil.

Through videos, photo essays and quizzes, the website offers an intimate look at the plants and animals that call these forests home.

“The site is designed to raise awareness about the myriad of threats facing forests, from logging to farming,” says Susan Gardner, Director of UNEP’s Ecosystems Division. “By highlighting how forests benefit both animals and humans, we hope to help preserve them for generations to come.”

Forests cover one-third of the Earth’s surface and are home to half of land animals and plants. Along with being a haven for wildlife, they produce oxygen, purify water and lock in carbon dioxide.

Every year, the world loses 4.7 million hectares of forests, an area bigger than Denmark.

“We put increased pressure on the world’s forests, which are actually very delicate ecosystems,” Ms. Gardner says.

For example, the Leuser, a 2.6 million-hectare tract of lowland forest on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is one of the most biodiverse places on the planet, home to everything from rhinos, to orangutans to tigers.