We thank Chronicle Books for their permission to use 4 awe-inspiring photos from the book, The Rainforest, A Celebration.
The waterfall on the opening screen of Haven is a cloud forest, Costa Rica, photographed by Michael Fogden/Bruce Coleman Ltd.
The edge-ucation screen is a photo of a Brazilian Yanomami shaman preparing hallucinogenic snuff from the bark of the virola tree which will assist him in communicating with the Yanomami spirit world. Photographed by Robin Hanbury--Tenison/Robert Harding Picture Library.
The frog on the right livelihood screen is a male glass frog guarding eggs, Costa Rica. Photographed by Michael and Patricia Fogden.
The leaves on the deep ecology screen are Heliconia Leaves, Monteverde, Costa Rica, photographed by Michael Fogden/Bruce Coleman Ltd.
At a time when the media bombards us almost daily with appalling facts about the destruction of the world's rainforests, it may seem strange to be celebrating their existence. Yet, although many of us can now quote horrifying statistics (an area the size of Britain burned every year; fifty species becoming extinct every day), few have any real idea of what the rainforests are and why they are so important.
Rain forests are the richest natural environments on earth. They are also among the most threatened and are irreplaceable. Evolved over millions of years, they are immensely complicated living communities of plants and creatures that both form them and depend on them for their survival. Though their total area is only the size of the United States, the rainforests support more than half of all living species: plants and animals both beautiful and bizarre, uniquely adapted to life in their environment and most found nowhere else. Many, as yet undiscovered and unnamed, could hold immense benefits for humanity, but they are being destroyed before we can realize their potential. To appreciate the vital importance of these fragile ecosystems and the global consequences of their destruction, we need to understand them.
This book is both a visual celebration of the world's rainforests and an impeccable scientific summary of how they operate. Put together by an impressive team of international experts and photographers, it captures the extraordinary beauty and complexity of the rainforests and at the same time contains the most up-to-date information about them. Each chapter begins with an overview, and then examines a strand in the intricate web of life of which the forests are composed: plants, insects, reptiles, birds, and mammals. A final chapter discusses the people who live in the forests and are witnessing the consequences of our disregard for their most fundamental principle: that you do not destroy the environment on which you depend.
Ultimately, we all depend on the rain forests, and by appreciating this fact we may yet be in time to save what has not already been irretrievably lost.
The Rainforests, A Celebration
compiled by the Living Earth Foundation
edited by Lisa Silcock
published by Chronicle books, San Francisco