We often hear about deforestation, one of the biggest problems that our planet has been facing for a long time. The causes are various and always attributable to human, the same who, in the end, suffer the heaviest consequences.

Above all, due to the extraction of timber and the increase in areas dedicated to agriculture and intensive farming, every year our land loses thousands of hectares of forests, home to precious animal species and entire populations.



The Virgin Forests, or “Intact Forest Landscapes”, are the most remote and fragile areas of the planet. They are large tracts of ancient and uncontaminated forests with some peculiarities: the extension of at least 500km2 in length and 10km in width, the high biodiversity, the presence of various ecosystems and the advantage of having suffered almost no anthropogenic impact. Fortunately, these areas have not yet been exploited for agricultural or industrial activities and they have not undergone fragmentation for the construction of infrastructures. Features that make them truly unique and unfortunately also increasingly rare.

Distributed across all continents, today we found the largests in the Amazon River basin, in the Congo River basin and between Russia and North America. These territories are home to 75% of the planet’s virgin forests.

Only a small part of them is protected, because it becomes part of nature reserves or national parks. Despite this, arson and non-arson, industrial agriculture, uncontrolled timber harvesting and mining threaten the survival of these Intact Forest Landscapes.


To check the progress of the situation, in 2021, the “Global Mapping Hub” of Greenpeace and the University of Maryland produced a Map of the remaining virgin forests, which shows us how and how quickly these have disappeared in the last 20 years and how fast they continue to decline.

It was found that the rate of forest loss has increased every year and, in particular, between 2014 and 2020 they have disappeared by 28% more than in the previous period (2008 – 2014).


Being able to conserve these precious and remote habitats can make the difference for the conservation of biodiversity. It is important to remember that these areas are able to store more CO2 than secondary forests can and are home to an incredible variety of plant and animal species, some of which are yet to be discovered.

A cultural role must certainly be added to this: these territories ensure the survival of indigenous peoples, with ancient and almost forgotten cultures.

We are often told that it is our job to preserve the planet, leaving it better than we found it, and in this case the extra encouragement can come from the awareness that losing these areas means taking a home from thousands of people. We often fail to realize environmental problems until their consequences affect us firsthand, so in this case it is good to ask ourselves: what if it were up to us to lose our home, the homeland of our origins?


Written by: Martina Giagio



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