The Amazon Rainforest Fires - How You Can Help
With the forests burning at an alarming rate, there are real ways that you can get involved.
If you're watching the media coverage of the Amazon rainforests burning and wondering what you can do to help, you're not alone.
While some number of rainforest fires are common during the dry season (which runs from July to October), the amount of fires this year is at a record high. Recent reports show that there have been over 72,000 fires so far in 2019, and the National Institute for Space Research says its satellite data shows an 85% increase from the same time frame last year.
The areas most effected by the fires are in North Brazil, and smoke from the fires has reached as far north as the Atlantic coast.
So, what's causing these fires? Some of the causes are natural, like lightning strikes and drought, while other are the result of deforestation - this is when land is intentionally cleared for logging and farming. The Amazon Environmental Research Institute (Ipam) has stated that the recent rise in the number of fires in the Amazon is directly related to deliberate deforestation.
(Source: @leonardodicaprio )
The Amazon basin is home to about three million species of plants and animals, and one million indigenous people. The forest is also a key factor in slowing the effects of global warming as the trees absorb massive amounts of carbon emissions. Without the trees, the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere can be toxic to animal species and humans alike.
Short of jumping on a plane to Brazil and dumping water on the flames, there are a number of ways that you can help.
- You can consider protecting an acre of rainforest through the Rainforest Action Network .
- Help buy land in the rainforest through the Rainforest Trust .
- Donate to the World Wildlife Federation to protect vulnerable species in the rainforest .
- Support indigenous populations through organizations like Amazon Watch .
- Make your voice heard by signing a petition to help save the Amazon and protect the lands of Indigenous and traditional communities.
If you know of any other ways to help, please share them in a comment below. Let's work together and Start Something Good !