The Amazon rainforest, which provides around 20% of the world's oxygen, has been ablaze for weeks now. The fires have sparked public outcry as environmentalists blame loggers and ranchers for setting the flames in order to open more land to agriculture — serving a massive blow to the ongoing fight against the effects of climate change.
The Amazon is the world’s largest rainforest and a key ally in fighting the climate crisis. It’s meant to absorb carbon, not produce it. The trees in the Amazon contain up to 140 billion tonnes of carbon. That’s the equivalent of what humans produce in 100 years. Put simply, there’s no way we can fight the climate crisis without stopping the destruction of our forests.
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.
According to Brazil’s National Institute of Space Research, the number of fires detected by satellite in the Amazon region this month is the highest since 2010. Bowing to international pressure and a global outcry over the destruction of a vital resource in the fight against climate change, president Jair Bolsonaro authorised the deployment of Brazil’s armed forces to help combat blazes, with warplane dumping water on burning tracts of Amazon. Critics say a large number of fires this year has been stoked by Bolsonaro’s encouragement of farmers, loggers and ranchers to speed up efforts to strip away forest.
4 things you can do to help:
1) Donate to the WWF emergency appeal
2) Share your outrage - make your voice heard! Talk to your friends and family and share your opinion on social media!
3) Sign this petition for the UK government to put the Amazon emergency on to the top of the G7 agenda.
4) Educate yourself. The Amazon is popularly known as the lungs of the world. It contains over a third of the world’s remaining rainforest, but we’re losing it – fast. The more you learn about the crisis that’s happening, the more you can help.