10 reasons why the Amazon rainforest is so important

If you’re a nature enthusiast, chances are that you’ve often heard the phrase that we have to protect the Amazon rainforest at all costs.

The Amazon Rainforest is the most extensive tropical woodland on the planet, boasting a breathtaking array of wildlife, vegetation, and cultures.

But why is it so important to protect it?

While there are multiple large rainforests that exist in the world, you may be wondering what makes the Amazon rainforest stand out and why it’s so crucial. 

In this article, I’ve sorted out 10 specific reasons why the Amazon rainforest is so important: from its role in regulating the global climate to its immense cultural and economic value. 

1) Home to an incredible array of plants, animals, and cultures

Let’s start with the most obvious reason why the Amazon rainforest is so important: it’s home to an incredible array of plants, animals, and cultures.

Yes, chances are that you won’t be surprised if I tell you that there is a diverse range of animals and plants that live in the Amazon rainforest.

But what you may not know is that, depending on the region, the Amazon rainforest can be home to over 16,000 different species of trees and a whopping 2.5 million different species of insects.

The fact that it is home to so many different species is a testament to its ecological importance.


Because there are millions of unique species of plants and animals existing in the rainforest that can’t be found anywhere else on the planet.

There are also many species of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and birds that call the Amazon rainforest home.

The vast biodiversity of the Amazon rainforest is something that is truly unparalleled on the planet.

But you know what else?

It’s not only about nature and animals.

Along with being home to thousands of different species of plants and animals, the Amazon is also home to hundreds of indigenous tribes and millions of people who depend on the rainforest for their livelihoods.

These cultures that have existed for thousands of years have deep knowledge of and respect for the natural world.

So guess what?

Defending the Amazon rainforest directly means saving numerous lives and the cultures that exist within it.

So, if this forest were destroyed or seriously damaged by climate change or deforestation, then these people would be at great risk of losing their homes and way of life.

2) It’s a source of medicines

Did you know that the Amazon rainforest has the natural ability to cure you?

Well, believe it or not, it turns out that about 25% of western medicines are derived from the Amazon rainforest. And you know what’s more impressive?

Only about 5% of the plants have been studied by scientists, meaning that there are still hundreds of other species that they have not yet been able to identify or classify.

Therefore, there are potentially thousands of medicinal plants still waiting to be discovered by scientists and pharmaceutical companies.

Yes, I know this might surprise you, but almost half of all modern medicines can be traced back to ingredients found in the Amazon rainforest.

And you know what else?

Some believe that many of these undiscovered species could help cure some of our most deadly diseases, like cancer and AIDS.

What are some of those plants from the Amazon rainforest that are used as treatments and medicines?

Well, one example is the plant called “Wasai,” which is used for kidney health.

Another example is the plant called “Lapacho,” which is known for its anticancer properties and exists only in the Amazon. This particular plant is the reason why people can undergo chemotherapy to deal with pain.

What’s more, the most famous of these include the coca leaf, which is used to make coca-cola, and the rubber tree.

And these are just a few examples of the multiple plants in the Amazon that can cure people of different diseases.

Many pharmaceutical companies have also sourced a variety of compounds and chemicals from the Amazon rainforest, which have been used to make antibiotics, anti-cancer compounds, and other medicinal products.

Beyond these specific examples, there are over 100,000 species of plants that can be used as medicinal products.

Many of these plants have been used as healing agents for thousands of years, but with the Amazon rainforest under threat, it’s important to document and record these practices so that they can be used for generations to come.

So you know what?

Protecting the Amazon rainforest means protecting the world’s largest medicine cabinet. And that means saving millions of lives on Earth.

So, if you care about saving lives, then you should also care about saving the rainforest because it might hold the cures for some of our most deadly diseases.

It’s a win-win situation! 

3) It stimulates medicinal research

Let me give you some background information before I explain this third reason why the amazon rainforest is important.

Stimulation of medical research is one of the things that everyone should be willing to do, right?

The reason is that it ensures we and our loved ones receive proper treatment when we have to deal with health issues that our bodies can’t naturally cope with.

So, what’s the connection between saving the rainforest and stimulating medical research?

Well, the fact that the Amazon rainforest is a natural source of medicines isn’t the only reason why it’s so important for us and for the scientific industry.

No, the fact that this rainforest is so diverse and has a plethora of plant species means that it can be used for medicinal research.

And that’s why it’s so important for us to save the Amazon rainforest; because it is at the heart of all medicinal research.

The Amazon rainforest has been a source of inspiration for many pharmaceutical companies and researchers, who have used its ingredients to come up with new medicines and cures for different types of diseases.

For example, if we look at just one type of tree in the Amazon – the ayahuasca tree – then we will be surprised by how many medicines have been derived from its bark.

But why is it critical for progress in the field of medical research?

Because the specific compounds in the plants from the Amazon rainforest can help scientists explain how cancer cells grow. Needless to say, this can lead to the development of new cancer treatments.

So, here’s the thing:

The Amazon rainforest is one of the most important sources of medicine on Earth. And if we want to continue making progress in the field of medical research, it’s imperative that we save this forest.

Because if the rainforest were to be destroyed, then we would lose our chance of discovering new medicines and fighting new diseases.

4) Source of renewable energy

Now let’s finish discussing its benefits for the medical industry and focus on the role of the Amazon rainforest in sustainability.

Most of us are worried about climate change and the impact that it can have on the environment, right?

That’s why we should do our best to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions and help our planet breathe a little easier.

And you know what?

The Amazon rainforest is one of the places where you can find a lot of clean sources of energy.

For example, solar power has been used in Brazil to power up thousands of homes in remote areas.

But why is this so important?

Because it helps us to create a more sustainable future for everyone on Earth.

The thing is that Amazon rainforest is full of biomass, which means that it can be used to create biofuels, like ethanol and biodiesel.

However, what’s even more interesting is that this forest can also be used to create electricity.

That’s right – the plants from the Amazon are an inexhaustible source of energy.

Hydropower can be used to transform this water into electricity, allowing the rainforest to be used as a source of renewable energy.

Unfortunately, deforestation has reduced the amount of water flowing into the Amazon River by as much as 10% over the past few decades.

The loss of these vast amounts of water has had a significant impact on the lives of millions of people who depend on the river for their livelihoods.

Capturing the water flow and transforming it into renewable energy would help provide a source of power to millions of people in Brazil and surrounding regions.

This would also help prevent the loss of the rainforest and the carbon stored in its biomass by reducing the amount of water that is lost to the ocean.

And if you think about it, then you will realize that the Amazon rainforest has been an inexhaustible source of energy for millions of years!

So, why don’t we use it? Why don’t we use all its potential?

That’s why I believe it’s critical for us to save the Amazon rainforest because it will help us move closer to a sustainable future for everyone on Earth.

renewable energy 10 reasons why the Amazon rainforest is so important

5) It contributes to preventing soil erosion

Do you understand why soil erosion is a major problem for the whole world?

Not only a major problem but scientists often describe soil erosion as an environmental catastrophe. And if we think about it, it indeed is a catastrophe.

It’s a catastrophe because it destroys the earth, making our planet uninhabitable for future generations.

The problem is that soil erosion damages the soil quality which leads to the loss of soil fertility, making it harder for plants to grow.

What’s more, it damages the productivity of the agriculture industry and it also makes the soil more vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

forests can help us save our planet from the damage caused by soil erosion.

So, here’s the thing:

Without healthy soil, we cannot grow food.

And as you know, food is our most important resource.

That’s why it’s so important to take care of our soil and protect it from erosion.

And guess what?

One of the most important functions of the Amazon rainforest is its role in preventing soil erosion.

The Amazon is one of the most biodiverse ecosystems on the planet with millions of different species of plants and animals.

This diversity helps to prevent soil erosion by allowing plants to grow in a variety of different types of soils and conditions.

The Amazon rainforest also plays a role in regulating water flow and preventing flooding in surrounding areas.

The Amazon River is the second-longest river in the world and one of the largest sources of freshwater on the planet.

All of this water flows from the Amazon rainforest, and it plays a crucial role in regulating the flow of water and preventing floods in major cities like Santarem and Belem.

Therefore, the Amazon rainforest serves as a natural barrier that helps to prevent the soil from eroding away.

That’s why we need to do something about it. 

But what can we do? How can we stop this problem? 

Well, one way is to preserve the Amazon rainforest because this forest helps to prevent soil erosion because of its huge biomass and biodiversity.

6) It’s an important carbon sink

Have you ever perceived the Amazon rainforest as a carbon sink?

Well, some people consider it as such because the Amazon rainforest absorbs a lot of carbon dioxide and releases oxygen.

This happens because plants release oxygen through photosynthesis, which is why the Amazon rainforest is considered to be an important carbon sink.

The amount of carbon released by the Amazon rainforest through photosynthesis exceeds the amount of carbon dioxide it absorbs.

Therefore, it’s considered to be a very important contributor to the global carbon cycle.

Let me explain how this works.

The Amazon rainforest produces large amounts of CO2 from the plants that exist in the forest and also stores vast amounts of carbon in its biomass.

The rainforest is responsible for about 20% of the world’s oxygen and about one-fifth of the world’s carbon.

The Amazon rainforest has long served as a crucial carbon sink that helps regulate climate change and the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.

Considering this, the Amazon rainforest is responsible for producing about one-fifth of the world’s oxygen supply.

This is due to the fact that the rainforest is home to millions of different species of trees and plants.

Trees are responsible for producing about half of this oxygen, and the rest is produced by other types of plants and organisms in the rainforest.

Unfortunately, deforestation has resulted in a reduction of CO2 in the atmosphere. The loss of these trees has also put the rainforest at risk of fire and other environmental dangers.

This is the reason why I believe we should protect Amazon’s contribution to the world’s oxygen levels at all costs.

7) It controls our climate and weather patterns

Everyone who lives in modern times has observed how much the climate and weather conditions have changed throughout the years

I mean, it’s been a while since the weather has been changing, and we’ve seen it in our own lives.

Perhaps not surprisingly, the environmental benefits the Amazon rainforest provides to the world aren’t the main reason why we should preserve this forest.

It turns out that the Amazon rainforest also has a powerful influence on our climate and weather patterns.

Unfortunately, most people are unaware of the fact that a huge part of this climate change is controlled by the Amazon rainforest and the plants that live in it.

This is because the Amazon produces one-fifth of the world’s oxygen supply and a significant amount of carbon dioxide.

The rainforest also releases a significant amount of carbon dioxide, which helps regulate the Earth’s temperature.

Therefore, without this gigantic forest, our planet would be much colder than it is today. Imagine how much warmer we would be without it!

The truth is that the Amazon rainforest controls the climate of our planet and the weather patterns in many ways.

The Amazon rainforest is responsible for producing a large portion of the world’s rainfall, which is why it has a huge effect on climate change.

It has a great impact on the tropical and subtropical regions, where most of our world’s rainfall occurs.

How can it control the weather conditions?

Well, the rainforest is so large that it covers much of South America, which means that it plays a very important role in regulating humidity levels across the continent.

In fact, some scientists have found that deforestation in the Amazon directly contributes to droughts that occur in other parts of South America.

That’s because when trees are cut down, they release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and stop producing water vapor — both of which contribute to increased temperatures across the region.

This means that deforestation can have devastating effects on rainfall patterns across other parts of South America.

This has had a significant impact on the global climate and has helped to regulate the world’s climate for thousands of years.

That’s how the Amazon rainforest can influence weather patterns.

8) It has a huge economic value

Okay, we already discussed how beneficial the Amazon rainforest is for our planet. But it is more than just a beautiful, biodiverse ecosystem

Instead, there’s another reason why we should protect it — it’s an extremely valuable economic resource for many South American countries.

According to the official statistics provided by Nature Sustainability Research, the rainforest generates about $8.2 billion for Brazil’s economy per year. And this creates about 8.6% of the GDP of Brazil.

That having been said, you can easily understand how much economic value it has for the world in general.

If you’re wondering where this $8.2 billion comes from, you should know that it includes industries such as nut framing and rubber tree timber that provide a lot of jobs to the local populations.

The Amazon rainforest is also responsible for providing both energy and transportation, which contribute to other industries in the region.

In fact, it’s estimated that the Amazon rainforest provides about a quarter of all of Brazil’s energy needs.

That’s why we should do everything we can to protect it and make sure that it will be here for many more years.

And what happens if we tear it down?

Well, it will lead to a drastic loss to agriculture and the economy, which will have a huge impact on the local population.

Specifically, destroying the Amazon forest is estimated to cause a $422 million annual loss.

Furthermore, it will also lead to the emission of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere.

So, here’s the thing: destroying the Amazon rainforest is estimated to be equivalent to adding about 18 million cars to the road.

Sounds trying, right?

This means that we should take this matter seriously and do everything we can in order to protect it because it is absolutely crucial for our safety and security.

9) It’s a significant tourist attraction

One more significant reason why the amazon rainforest is important to us is that it’s a significant tourist attraction.

As we already discussed, the Amazon rainforest is one of the most biodiverse places on our planet. And it’s incredibly beautiful, too.

There are over 20,000 species of plants that exist in the Amazon, and there are also many species of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and birds that call the Amazon home.

And it’s not just the unparalleled biodiversity that is amazing — there are also some incredible landscapes that you just need to see in order to understand why people have been visiting the Amazon for centuries.

The Amazon rainforest has some of the most spectacular waterfalls in the world! These falls are formed as a result of big rivers crashing into narrow valleys and they’re incredibly popular among tourists who want to experience them firsthand.

And here’s another thing: according to several studies, tourists who visit this region spend more than $1 billion per year on local businesses.

tourist attraction 10 reasons why the Amazon rainforest is so important

The reason is that about 6.5 million tourists visit the Amazon every year, both locals and tourists alike.

This exposes the forest to many people and raises awareness about this precious ecosystem.

As well as providing a source of income for the people who live in the region.

Despite the economic value of the Amazon rainforest, many people don’t realize that it is a natural wonder.

On average, it takes around $150 for each tourist to visit the Amazon rainforest.

So you know what?

Another reason why it’s important to protect the Amazon rainforest is that it has huge economic value and helps millions of people have a sustainable future.

10) It has an immense cultural value

And the final reason why I believe that we should all protect the Amazon rainforest is that it has immense cultural value.

This is the most biodiverse place on our planet, which means that it’s filled with plants and animals that we have never even seen before.

And there’s no question that we need to protect this place because it represents a living museum of biological diversity.

The simple truth is that it contains an immensely rich cultural and historical value.

In fact, the Amazon rainforest and its indigenous people are believed to have existed for thousands of years.

Around 90% of the population lives in the rainforest, and this has shaped the cultures of many tribes.

Many of these tribes have a very low population density and rely heavily on the forest’s resources.

The Amazon rainforest contains thousands of unique plant and animal species, many of which are endemic to the forest.

This means that they are found nowhere else in the world. Many of these species are yet to be discovered and named, meaning that they may hold some incredibly rare properties.

These species are also incredibly difficult to grow in captivity and may contain key ingredients for new medicines.

Besides, I think that the Amazon rainforest is incredibly important because of its cultural value.

The indigenous people who live in this region are incredibly unique, and they have different traditions and customs than other people do.

And they’ve been living in harmony with nature for many centuries, which makes them extremely authentic people who deserve to be recognized.

We can’t ignore the fact that hundreds of thousands of indigenous people live in the Amazon rainforest — their culture is part of our history, and we need to take care of it so that future generations can enjoy their customs as well!

Final thoughts

Hopefully, you already understand why the Amazon rainforest is an irreplaceable natural resource that must be protected and preserved for the benefit of all living things.

It’s an important part of our global ecosystem and is vital for our planet’s health and well-being.

That’s why we should all try to protect it from destruction so that it can continue to thrive.

Picture of Nato Lagidze

Nato Lagidze

Nato is a writer and a researcher with an academic background in psychology. She investigates self-compassion, emotional intelligence, psychological well-being, and the ways people make decisions. Writing about recent trends in the movie industry is her other hobby, alongside music, art, culture, and social influences. She dreams to create an uplifting documentary one day, inspired by her experiences with strangers.

Enhance your experience of Ideapod and join Tribe, our community of free thinkers and seekers.

Related articles

Most read articles

Get our articles

Ideapod news, articles, and resources, sent straight to your inbox every month.