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According to the National Forest Association of Forest Industries (1996), "there are about 4 billion hectares of forest in the world, of which about 25 percent is tropical rainforest."
Although rainforests take vast amounts of time to regenerate, young forests are more effective at removing carbon from the air than older forests. Older forests absorb carbon less efficiently, but have more total carbon stored within them.
The soil of the rainforests is only suitable for being rainforest soil, crops do not grow well in it. When forests are cut down, the soil erodes quickly and soon only a dry desert remains.
Humans also inhabit the rainforests. Most of these people are indigenous, or Indian. It is estimated that there are over 1,000 or more indigenous groups around the world, but they are also becoming extinct. "In 1900, Brazil had one million Indians. Today, there are fewer than 200,000 in the Amazon." (Stevenson Press, 1996)
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