Despite years of environmental protests, campaigns and political debate, the world's rainforests are being destroyed faster than ever before.
Most scientists and environmentalists call rainforest destruction a matter of global concern. With the felling of each tree, they say, the balance of the Earth's climate and biological diversity is jeopardized further.
Rainforest destruction contributes to a worldwide climatic shift toward higher temperatures, called global warming, many experts say, and threatens to annihilate the vast majority of plant and animal species from the Earth within decades.
They say that rainforests must be protected from all cutting and other destructive activity, to ensure that the fragile ecosystems remain intact. They insist that non-destructive forest-based industries--such as tourism and plant- and animal-derived pharmaceuticals--should replace timber harvesting.