International Day of the Tropics is a United Nations observance held annually on June 29. Its main goal is to raise public awareness of the tropical areas, the challenges they face, and the emerging opportunities they present.
International Day of the Tropics was inaugurated by the United Nations General Assembly to raise awareness, at all levels, about the issues that affect the tropical zone, as well as the far-reaching implications of such issues. The Day also aims to emphasize the important role that countries in the tropics will play in achieving the sustainable development goals.
What are the tropics?
The Tropics are region of Earth between tropic of Cancer and tropic of Capricorn. The tropical locations are typically warm and experience little seasonal change in day-to-day temperature, even though their topography and other factors contribute to climatic variation. Temperature remains relatively constant throughout the year. The peculiar climatic feature of Tropics is prevalence of rain in moist inner regions near equator and increase seasonality of rainfall with distance from the equator. The region is facing number of challenges such as climate change, deforestation, logging, urbanization and demographic changes.
Two keys related to tropics
The Tropics account for 40% of the world’s total surface area and are host to approximately 80% of the world’s biodiversity - The Tropics host nearly 95% of the world’s mangrove forests by area and 99% of mangrove species. The area of mangrove forest in all tropical regions has decreased since 1980. They have just over half of the world’s renewable water resources (54%) and yet almost half their population is considered vulnerable to water stress.
Biodiversity is greater in Tropics across most taxonomic groups with equivalently higher proportion of threatened species. For those plants and animals for which there are adequate data, loss of biodiversity is greater in Tropics than in the rest of the world.
The human system
Consistent with the higher levels of poverty, more people experience undernourishment in the Tropics than in the rest of the World. The proportion of the urban population living in slum conditions is higher in the Tropics than in the rest of the World. By 2050, the region will host most of the world's people and two-thirds of its children.
5 steps to save tropical rainforests
Preserving tropical rainforests involves more than just deciding not to cut trees. Social, political and economic factors all need to be taken into consideration.
Scientists and activists remain concerned about the best approach to save the rapidly disappearing rainforests of the world. Five basic steps we can each take every day to save rainforests have been broken down into the acronym TREES, which stands for:
- Teach others about the importance of the environment and how they can help save rainforests.
- Restore damaged ecosystems by planting trees on land where forests have been cut down.
- Encourage people to live in a way that doesn’t hurt the environment.
- Establish parks to protect rainforests and wildlife.
- Support companies that operate in ways that minimize damage to the environment.
Everything you do, practice the environmentally sound use and reuse of our resources. This will not only have a positive impact on the tropical rainforest but on all the ecosystems of the world.