The Amazon rainforest has long been recognised as a repository of ecological services not only for local tribes and communities, but also for the rest of the world. It is also the only rainforest that we have left in terms of size and diversity.
The vital links between the Amazon rainforest, global warming and you
According to WWF – “Trees have hidden attributes that play a key role in reducing pollutant levels. Take carbon dioxide (CO2) for example, a gas emitted from both natural and human sources. Over the last 150 years, humans have been pumping massive amounts of CO2 into the air by burning fossil fuels, coal, oil and natural gas – this is a major driver for global climate change.
Carbon dioxide in, oxygen out
Under natural conditions, plants remove CO2 from the atmosphere and absorb it for photosynthesis, an energy-creating process that yields:
- Oxygen, which is released back into the air
- Carbon, which allows the plant to grow.
So, without tropical rainforests the greenhouse effect would likely be even more pronounced, and climate change may possibly get even worse in the future.”
The Amazon in Brazil is on fire – how bad is it?
Brazil has seen a record number of fires in 2019, Brazilian space agency data suggests. The official figures show more than 75,000 forest fires were recorded in Brazil in the first eight months of the year – an 85% increase on the same period in 2018. This is the highest number since 2013 and compares with 40,000 in the same period in 2018.
Forest fires are common in the Amazon during the dry season, which runs from July to October. They can be caused by naturally occurring events, such as by lightning strikes, but also by farmers and loggers clearing land for crops or grazing.
Our Amazon is on fire – and this is a direct consequence of accelerated deforestation.
And the repercussions are devastating. The Amazon is the world’s largest rainforest and a key ally in fighting the climate crisis.
Despite covering only 1% of the planet’s surface, the Amazon is home to 10% of all the wildlife species we know about, and there are probably many more yet to be discovered.
I travelled to the Amazon both in 2013 and 2015. It was an incredible experience, getting to see such wonderful wildlife and animals in their natural habitat. It’s devastating to see this precious place burning.
View this post on Instagram
BUT THERE ARE THINGS YOU CAN DO.
1. SHOW YOUR OUTRAGE
Share it on social media. Talk to your friends and family about it. It’s up to all of us to make this socially, economically and politically unacceptable, and to help stop it happening again in the future.
The more voices we have, the louder our call for urgent action. Keep sharing updates, tag influencers, demand change.
2. SIGN THE PETITION
A petition urging the Brazilian government to ban the burning of the Amazon rainforest has received hundreds of thousands of signatures after it was launched on Change.org on Tuesday. Make sure you sign this today!
3. DONATE TO AN APPEAL
- Amazon Conservation Team fights climate change, protects the Amazon and empowers indigenous peoples.
- Amazon Conservation Association accepts donations and lists exactly what your money goes toward –– whether it’s planting trees, sponsoring education, buying a solar panel and preserving indigenous lands.
- Donate to the Rainforest Trust to help buy land in the rainforest. The organisation has saved over 23 million acres and counting since 1988.
- The Rainforest Foundation is committed to making sure donations made reaches projects such as supporting environmental defenders, indigenous advocacy organisations and deforestation monitoring.
- WWF Emergency Appeal
View this post on Instagram