The 12 most remote rainforests in the world and where to

The world’s largest rainforests are some of the most important ecosystems on our planet

Home to more than half of the world’s flora and fauna, the world’s largest rainforests absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, helping to maintain the balance of the air we breathe while at the same time playing an important role in preventing global warming

Despite their immense value, the world’s largest rainforests are under constant threat

Rich Carey/Shutterstock More than half of the Earth’s trees have been lost since logging began

Today, deforestation occurs in the form of logging, mining, agriculture and widespread development

If current rates continue, rainforests will disappear completely within a century

The world’s largest rainforests are found in two types: tropical and temperate

The rainforests are located near the equator, between the Tropic of Cancer at 235° north and the Tropic of Capricorn at 235° south of the equator

Rain forests once cover 14% of the earth’s land; today, it is only 6%

Apart from this, about 80% of the world’s recorded species can be found in rainforests

Of all the rainforests, 57% are found in Latin America and a third in Brazil

Other large tropical forests are found in southeast Asia and the Pacific islands (25%) and west Africa (18%)

Lee Prince/Shutterstock Rainforests stretch north and south

Temperate forests make up about 25% of the world’s forests

They are moist forests that grow in the mountains, usually along the west coast where westerly winds bring high rainfall

Temperate forests are more widespread in the north and south than in the tropics

They have less biodiversity than rainforests

The largest forests in the world

It is impossible to say exactly how many rainforests there are in the world as definitions, boundaries and limits are interpreted differently depending on the country and organization

We can, however, identify and list the world’s largest forests by size, type and location

1 The Amazon rainforest

Size: 5,500,000km2Type: TropicalLocation: Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana

Filipe Frazao/Shutterstock The Amazon is the largest rainforest in the world

The largest forest in the world, the Amazon needs no introduction

It is the largest rainforest in the world and covers nine countries in total, covering 40% of South America

The Amazon represents more than half of the planet’s remaining forests and is home to an estimated 390 billion trees divided into 16,000 species

In fact, the Amazon is home to 10th of all known species on Earth

However, this vast wilderness is under relentless threat from large-scale agriculture and ranching, development, logging, mining and climate change

Most (60%) of the Amazon within Brazil, the country bears a great responsibility

Between 2000 and 2012, the rate of deforestation in Brazil decreased by 75%

However, data from 2017-2018 shows that there is an increase of 137% in the previous year and a large area of ​​forest that has been removed since 2008

Size: 1,780,000km2Type: TropicalLocation: Cameroon, Gabon, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea

Rich Carey/Shutterstock The Congo rainforest of the Central African Republic

Covering six countries in most of the Congo Basin, the Congolese Rainforest is the second largest rainforest in the world

A mix of rivers, forests, savannah, swamps and driftwood, the basin is teeming with life: gorillas, elephants and bison all call this region home

the rate of deforestation since 1990 has been the lowest of any major forest region

The world

Deforestation in the Congo over the past 20 years has evolved

All of this has the indirect effect of deforestation opening up parts of the Congo to poaching, leading to a 62% decline in forest elephants in less than ten years

Size: 288,000km2Type: TropicalLocation: Indonesia, Papua New Guinea

Dreamstime New Guinea is home to the largest rainforest in the Asia-Pacific region

New Guinea’s rainforests cover about 65% of the world’s second largest island

The island is home to the largest rainforest in the Asia-Pacific region and the third largest rainforest in the world

Land competing for the diversity of the New Guinea Rainforest

rainforests to coastal mangroves, the island is home to some of the

the world’s most unique plants and animals

the area was not immune to common threats

deal with the growth of logging, mining, wildlife trade and

4 Central Valdivian Rainforest

Size: 248,100km2Type: TemperateLocation: Chile, Argentina

Juan Vilata/Shutterstock Central Valdivian Forest in Chile

Known as the rainforest at the end of the world, the southernmost rainforest of this type, the Selva Valdiviana (Valdivian Temperate Forest) is located on the west coast of South America

This forest covers a piece of continental land between the western slopes of the Andes mountains and the Pacific Ocean

It is the largest temperate rainforest in the world and is characterized by a dense collection of ferns, bamboos and evergreen angiosperm trees that dominate the landscape

Threats to the Valdivian include extensive logging and replacement of

Size: 220,000km2 Type: TropicalLocation: Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei

Dreamtime The rainforest in Borneo is estimated to be around 140 million years old

The rainforest on the island of Borneo – the third largest island in the world – is estimated to be around 140 million years old, making it one of the oldest rainforests in the world

Known as the last rainforest of Asia, it is a mixture of lowland and mountain rainforest above 1,000m (3,300ft)

Borneo’s rainforest is declining mainly due to logging, hunting and commercial land use conversion – so much so that in 2007 the Heart of Borneo Initiative was launched by WWF to save one of the largest rainforests in the world

The agreement, signed by the governments of Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia, aims to protect a large area of ​​rainforest on the island

Like many tropical regions around the world, Borneo’s rainforests are logged for timber, palm oil, pulp, rubber and minerals

Thus, Borneo has lost 30% of its forest in the last 40 years, falling twice as fast as all rainforests

Large mammals such as orangutans and elephants are particularly vulnerable

6 Pacific rainforests

Size: 60,346km2Type: TemperateLocation: Canada, USA

Magnetic North A rare polar bear in Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest

Stretching over 4,000km in a narrow coastal corridor from the edge of Prince William Sound in Alaska, along the coast of British Columbia in Canada, through the US states of Oregon and Washington to northern California, the Pacific Coastal Rainforest represents the largest area in the world coastal temperate forest

Despite its great length, the forest is only 150km wide

The rainforest includes the Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska, the largest national forest in the USA, and Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia, which is home to the wind bear, a rare white subspecies of the black bear

The current US administration is trying to increase logging and road construction in America’s temperate rainforest

The Legacy of the Sumatra Rainforest

Size: 25,000 km2Type: TropicalLocation: Indonesia

CIFOR; CC 20 Elephants in the Sumatran rain forest

The Sumatran rainforest is a deeply sad story of deforestation

The sixth largest island in the world was once covered in rainforest from coast to coast

Now, only pockets of rainforest remain, mostly within the UNESCO-protected Sumatra Rainforest World Heritage Site

Illegal logging and palm oil production are to blame

With nearly 50% of Sumatra’s rainforest lost in the past 35 years, it is likely that without these protected areas all of Sumatra’s remaining forests will disappear within 20 years

The Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra is spread throughout the country

8 Australia’s Eastern Highlands

Size: 222,100 km2Type: TemperateLocation: Australia

Atlas & Boots Blue Mountains National Park Australia

Stretching from the central coast of New South Wales to southeast Queensland, Australia’s Eastern Highlands eco-region includes a variety of natural environments, microclimates and rich vegetation

One of the most famous places in the rainforest is the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains National Park

The region has a spectacular sandstone plateau, deep gorges, eucalyptus forests and an abundance of rare and endangered species of flora and fauna

Size: 20,000km² Type: Tropical Location: Nicaragua

CC 10 Bosawás Biosphere Reserve in Nicaragua

Covering about 5% of Nicaragua’s land, which makes it the second largest forest in the western hemisphere (after the Amazon), the Bosawás Biosphere Reserve has been a UNESCO reserve since 1997

rainforest from Nicaragua

The rainforests of Westland

Size: 11,880km2Type: TemperateLocation: New Zealand

Naruedom Yaempongsa/Shutterstock Westland rainforests in New Zealand

New Zealand’s Westland rainforests are located along the central west coast of the South Island

A narrow strip of rainforest runs between the Southern Alps and the Tasman

a world where glaciers and forests meet

In this area there are 28 species of endangered birds including the Okarito brown kiwi

Much of this area is protected either by national parks or reserves making it one of the least threatened rainforests in the world

Threats remain though in the form of introduced mammals such as stoats and rats

In addition, many parts of the rainforest have been developed for pastures and pine plantations

Size: 1,500km² Type: Tropical Location: China

Camera Gallery/Shutterstock Rainforest on Hainan Island

China’s rainforests used to be huge

Today, however, most of China’s influence on forests exists only on the consumption side

At home and abroad, China is the world leader in illegal logging

China’s rainforests have declined by 67% in the past 30 years

In other countries, Chinese firms have destroyed large areas of rainforest and financed agriculture, infrastructure and oil and mining development projects throughout the world’s rainforests

Some good news is that Hainan Island, the country’s smallest and southernmost province, is home to China’s largest and best-preserved forest

Most of this area is now protected and rarely visited, although 25 million tourists visit the island each year

Size: 1,200km² Type: Tropical Location: Australia

AustralianCamera/Shutterstock The Daintree Rainforest in Australia

Last on our list of the world’s best rainforests is the Daintree Rainforest, located on the northeast coast of Queensland

The Daintree Rainforest is part of the oldest remaining tropical rainforest

It is thought to be 6-10 times older than those found in protected areas of the Amazon – standing at 150 million years

The ecosystems of the Daintree Rainforest are some of the most complex on Earth

Unfortunately, the UNESCO protected area does not extend to the entire Daintree due to habitat development, climate change and invasive plants and species are all at risk

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