Fires in the Amazon: Every Reason To Be Afraid for our Planet

Esme Chiara, Staff Writer

In August, international eyes were drawn to the Amazon Rainforest as it burned down at record rates. Though media coverage has died down since then, the world’s largest forest is still burning. 

The Amazon contains one in ten known living species on earth, including many types of endangered plants and animals. It is home to approximately 400 indigenous tribes, many whose survival is threatened by the fires. The Amazon is also a large carbon dioxide absorber, and increased deforestation will only release the gas back into the air and further contribute to climate change.

         Since Jair Bolsonaro became the president of Brazil last January, monitoring and surveillance of the forest has decreased and Brazilian laws to protect the Amazon have been rendered ineffectual. This lack of attention has resulted in a rapid surge of deforestation with the land being used likely for growing crops in the forest’s rich soil and for raising cattle. 

However, Brazil’s military is currently attempting to put out the fires and a 60-day decree was signed on August 28th that prohibited any more man-made fires in the forest. Yet that decree concludes at the end of October and Amazon Rainforest fires will continue to occur, fueled by the demand for land expansion. Therefore, we must continue to do what we can to help maintain it, before it’s too late.

 How Can You Help?

  • Donate to organizations that distribute money to communities that help fight deforestation of the Amazon (and other forests too) such as the Rainforest Action Network, the Rainforest Alliance, Amazon Watch, and Rainforest Trust.
  • Donate to One Tree Planted, which plants one tree in different parts of the world for every dollar that is donated and lets you choose where to plant trees, including in the Amazon Rainforest.
  • Support organizations that work with Indigenous people and help defend their rights such as Amazon Frontlines, Survival International, and The Rainforest Foundation
  •  Research any organizations and see how they encourage you to help.
  • Spread the word, speak out, and encourage others to speak out. The destruction of the Amazon needs to remain an important global issue for it to cease.