Shrouded in uncertainty
Imagine a dense forest lush with orchids, mosses and ferns on practically every surface, where each tree branch is like a garden, and the air is cool and damp due to perpetually misty conditions. These extraordinary rainforests, known as cloud forests, are under threat from climate change and human activities, observes a report of the United Nations Environment Programme (unep).
Cloud forests provide year-round freshwater supplies to millions, and are home to several endemic and threatened species. These factors underscore their economic significance (see page 60). "A rise in temperature can result in the clouds lifting and the forest drying out,' warns Philip Bubb, co-author of the report entitled