Rainforests are the most diverse ecosystems on Earth. They are crucial for the health of our planet in somtimes surprising waysfrom regulating freshwater systems to mitigating climate change.

In Rainforest: Dispatches from Earth’s Most Vital Frontlines, prominent conservationist Tony Juniper provides a comprehensive view of the crucial roles rainforests serve, the state of the world’s rainforests today, and the inspirational efforts underway to save them.

Read the excerpt below to find out what makes rainforests so valuable for our planet: