For over 3 weeks now, the Amazon Rainforest is burning in a massive extent. Brazil is mostly affected but Bolivia and Paraguay are also starting to catch-up. Brazil having two thirds of the rainforest is the focus of news and social media discussions, but Bolivia and Paraguay should not be left out of the picture.
Amazon Rainforest is Burning | Why We Should Care?
The Amazon is said to be the provider of 20% or more of the earth’s oxygen supply. Thus, it is called as the “lungs of the planet”. With this, the major role of the rainforest in regulating the climate is undeniable. That is how important the rainforest is to the world. No matter where you live.
The fire is so big that it can be seen from the outer space.
Currently, the fire is still raging and it doesn’t help that this month until November will be the driest season in Amazon. This is heart breaking. Many defenseless animals and plants are set to perish.
What caused the fire?
The issue is not simple. It is economically and politically complex scenario. Everyone directly involved are blaming each other. Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, is facing criticism. People are accusing him of lack of action and of encouraging logging and farming in the Amazon.
“Fire is often used to clear out the land for farming or ranching. For that reason, a vast majority of the fires can be attributed to humans”, Christian Poirier, program director of the nonprofit Amazon Watch, told CNN.
In a Facebook Live, the Brazilian President blamed environmental NGOs in starting the fire to bring embarrassment on his government. He also accused the indigenous people and farmers in starting the fire and later on conceded that his government lacks the resources to fight the record number of fires in the Amazon.
What We Can Do?
The bigger question now is what we can do? It is highly unlikely that you will be one of those firefighters to go and combat the raging fire. In one way or another, we can do things in our own way where ever we are located. Raising awareness is one.
Here are the lists of things we can do to help.
Ecosia.org is a search engine that plants a tree for every 45 searches you will make. This is the simplest method everyone of us can do to participate in saving the Amazon. DuckDuckGo is my go to search engine, but with this recent turn of events, I am now going to use Ecosia. It is just so unfortunate that it needs a damage of this magnitude before I came to know about Ecosia.
Donate to Rainforest Action Network to protect an acre of the Amazonian rainforest.
Donate to the Rainforest Trust to help buy land in the rainforest. Since 1988, the organization has saved over 23 million acres. Can we make that double?
Reduce your paper and wood consumption. Double-check with Rainforest Alliance that what you’re buying is considered rainforest-safe.
Reduce your beef intake. Beef found in processed products and fast-food burgers often comes from the rainforest. Yup. You read it right.
The World Wide Fund for Nature works to protect the species in the Amazon and around the world.
Donate to Amazon Watch, an organization that protects the rainforest, defends Indigenous rights and works to address climate change.
Donate to the Amazon Conservation Team, which works to fight climate change, protect the Amazon and empower Indigenous peoples.
Amazon Conservation accepts donations and lists exactly what your money goes toward.
Donate to One Tree Planted, which works to stop deforestation around the world and in the Amazon Rainforest.
Bolivia’s Amazon Rainforest is Burning Too
The fire started in Brazil and now spilling over to Bolivia. President Evo Morales announced on Wednesday that Bolivia had contracted a Boeing 747 ‘Supertanker’ to help extinguish the monster fire consuming their part of Amazon. The ‘Supertanker’ can carry more water than any other aircraft in the world, capable of flying with 115, 000 liters, equivalent to a 100 regular air tankers.
The Amazon is playing a huge and vital role in our planets future. Christian Poirier, the program director of Amazon Watch says in CNN, “This isn’t hyperbole. We’re looking at untold destruction – not just of the Amazon but for our entire planet.”