Fast Facts

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Rainforests cover only 6 percent of the earth’s land surface and yet biologists estimate that half the species of plants, animals and other organisms are found in tropical rainforests, according to Edward Wilson, a research professor at Harvard.

Between 1.5 million and 1.8 million species in the world have been described but the true number of living species range from 3.6 million to more than 100 million.

Earth, as far as life is concerned, is still a little known planet.

The Philippines is part of the 6 percent with tropical rainforests.

It is estimated that from 2000 to 2005, the Philippines lost 2.1 percent of its forest every year, the second fastest rate in Southeast Asia (next to Burma) and the seventh in the world.

Throughout history, people have cultivated or gathered 7,000 plant species for food. Today, only 20 species provide 90 percent of the world’s food and three—maize, wheat and rice—supply more than half.

Introduction of invasive alien species dramatically alters ecosystems in many parts of the world, especially in forest ecosystems.

In a report submitted by Pinol et al. (2006) to the Asia-Pacific Forest Invasive Species Network, he enumerated a list of potential invasive alien plant species in the Philippines. (See table.)

The Philippines has more than 3,000 native tree species. Ronald Achacoso

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