06/03/2011 04:22 pm ET | Updated Aug 03, 2011

Rainforest Destruction Drops 25 Percent: Report

There's reason to breathe easier.

Rainforest destruction in the word's largest rainforests plunged by 25 percent over the last decade, according to a report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

From Reuters:

A report entitled The State of the Forests in the Amazon Basin, Congo Basin and South East Asia, was released to coincide with a summit in the Congo Republic bringing together delegates from 35 countries occupying those forests, with a view to reaching a global deal on management and conservation.

The Amazon and the Congo are the world's first and second biggest forests, respectively, and its third biggest -- the Borneo Mekong -- is in Indonesia.

The rainforests suck up billions of tonnes of carbon from the air and are home to two thirds of the earth's land species.

The report's author, Mette Wilkie, cautioned that the drop in destruction is not cause for celebration.

"Deforestation is higher than it ought to be," she said.

The remaining challenge, according to Wilkie, is to balance the need to stop cutting down the rainforest with the growing demand for food, which is expected to increase by 70 percent by 2050. Rainforests are often decimated in the name of creating farmland.