Rainforests in Asia

Most tropical rainforest in Asia is found in Indonesia (on scattered islands), the Malay peninsula (Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar), and Laos and Cambodia. Forest once covered a much greater area in Asia, but logging and clearing of forests for agriculture has destroyed much of the region’s rainforests.

The loss of rainforests has caused many problems in Asia. For example, during the 2004 tsunami disaster damage was worse in areas that had suffered heavy deforestation. The burning of forests for land clearing also causes air pollution.

Southeast Asia’s rainforests are some of the oldest on Earth. Some scientists believe that forests in present-day Malaysia may have existed over 100 million years ago.

Some southeast Asian forests are known for their orangutans, tigers, and elephants. On the island of Sumatra, rhinos, tigers, orangutans, and elephants can be found living in the same forest Ὰ the only place on Earth where this is the case.

Map showing world distribution of rainforests.
Map showing the Asian rainforests. Click to enlarge