The Amazon Rainforest has been on fire for almost three weeks, and the world has just been standing still not doing anything to prevent or even put out the fires. Many of us have been askng what is happening in the Amazon?
The answer in a nutshell is quite simply, human activity. And unfortunately, the Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, doesn’t care enough. He dismissed the world’s concerns over the stafety and protection of the Amazon.
According to News Week, while dismissing the question regarding the spread of fires in the Amazon at a press conference, Bolsonaro said “I used to be called Captain Chainsaw. Now I am Nero, setting the Amazon aflame. But it is the season of the queimada,” referencing the time of year when farmers use fire to clear land.
It has sadly been announced that the fires have created a layer of smoke, estimated to be 1.2 million square miles according to Business Insider. The loss of the forest will be extremely devastating as it’s home to many species, whose extinction will significantly and negatively affect global bio-diversity. The Amazon also produces around 20 percent of the world’s oxygen we breath, has 40 percent of the world’s tropical forests, and holds up to 20 percent of the world’s fresh water supply.
All of us should be extremely concerned. I understand that we live miles away from this, and might think that there’s almost nothing we can do, however, there’re things that can be done! Scroll down for some ways to make a difference.
Educated yourself and the people around you
You can always learn more about the crisis from various official sources to enlighten and educate friends and family regarding the crisis. The more people know about how serious the crisis is, the more there can be done.
Reduce, reuse and recycle
It’s totally worth to know about the long-term effect of our day-to-day simple actions, like recycling, reusing old materials, and reducing our plastic use. Actually, a lot of paper comes from trees that are chopped down from the Amazon. So, in theory; less demand, means less deforestation.
I advise you to check out Charity Navigator website, it’s a non-profit organization that rates different charities, their accountability, and how they manage their finances. You can donate to charities like Amazon Watch, Rainforest Foundation US, Rainforest Trust.
Unless you’re a trained firefighter, it’s very dangerous to volunteer and fight the fires. But, there are other things you can do, like contacting the charities I previously mentioned and ask them what you can do.
Make your voice heard
The burning and deforestation of the Amazon rainforest will for sure have a lasting effect on our global climate. Even if you live in another country you can always call or email any elected officials to encourage them to act the way you want them to!