AMAZON FOREST: EARTH’S LUNGS ARE BURNING, BUT DOES IT MATTER?

NEWS, World Affairs

What’s common between Hollywood superstar Leonardo diCaprio & Bollywood diva Alia Bhatt? No, the two stars are not starring in a movie together, but the two have been urging their fans to take note and act on the biggest environmental crisis the world is facing right now.

View this post on Instagram

#Regram #RG @rainforestalliance: The lungs of the Earth are in flames. 🔥 The Brazilian Amazon—home to 1 million Indigenous people and 3 million species—has been burning for more than two weeks straight. There have been 74,000 fires in the Brazilian Amazon since the beginning of this year—a staggering 84% increase over the same period last year (National Institute for Space Research, Brazil). Scientists and conservationists attribute the accelerating deforestation to President Jair Bolsonaro, who issued an open invitation to loggers and farmers to clear the land after taking office in January.⁣ ⁣ The largest rainforest in the world is a critical piece of the global climate solution. Without the Amazon, we cannot keep the Earth’s warming in check. ⁣ ⁣ The Amazon needs more than our prayers. So what can YOU do?⁣ ⁣ ✔ As an emergency response, donate to frontline Amazon groups working to defend the forest. ⁣ ✔ Consider becoming a regular supporter of the Rainforest Alliance’s community forestry initiatives across the world’s most vulnerable tropical forests, including the Amazon; this approach is by far the most effective defense against deforestation and natural forest fires, but it requires deep, long-term collaboration between the communities and the public and private sectors. ✔ Stay on top of this story and keep sharing posts, tagging news agencies and influencers. ⁣ ✔ Be a conscious consumer, taking care to support companies committed to responsible supply chains.⁣ Eliminate or reduce consumption of beef; cattle ranching is one of the primary drivers of Amazon deforestation. ✔ When election time comes, VOTE for leaders who understand the urgency of our climate crisis and are willing to take bold action—including strong governance and forward-thinking policy.⁣ ⁣ #RainforestAlliance #SaveTheAmazon #PrayForAmazonia #AmazonRainforest #ActOnClimate #ForestsResist #ClimateCrisis 📸: @mohsinkazmitakespictures / Windy.com

A post shared by Leonardo DiCaprio (@leonardodicaprio) on

The two like rest of the environmentalists have been rallying on the internet to draw the world’s attention to the Amazon Forest Fire crisis.

Amazon forests have recorded several forest fires this year. If numbers by Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research are to go by, Amazon has witnessed 72,843 fires in 2019. This, reportedly, is 80% higher than last year. Approximately, 9000 of these fires took place in just one week’s time and the size of these multiple fires are varied.

The Brazilian government has already rubbished these numbers and have labelled them as lies. The physicist who served as the head of the agency has also been ‘fired’.

The Jungle Book

Global attention to crisis started once NASA relased images of these fires from space on August 11. The South American continent was virtually covered in smoke.

Spread over 5.5 million square kilometres of land, Amazon forest which has been classified as a Rainforest is located in South America and is spread across Brazil, Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Suriname, Guyana and French Guiana. Brazil houses 60% of the Amazon forest. Scientists estimate Amazon houses 390 billion trees including 16,000 species.

Political sparks to fire?

These fires have sparked immense public outrage, with several Brazilians sharing images of clouds and dust caused by the fire across the country.

As residents demand answers, environmentalists claim political nexus sparked these fires.

In 2018, Brazil witnessed a change of guard. Jair Bolsonaro became the President of this developing South American nation, promising to explore the country’s natural reservoirs – the Amazon and since his reign began, Nature has borne the brunt of his ideas.

The President has for now blamed NGOs of the starting the forest fires to defame his government.

Brazil’s INPE claims the area of forest land cleared this year is equivalent to that of forest cleared in 3 years.

Many are already calling it deforestation driven forest fire. The timber trees found in Amazon are being cleared to plant soy & land is being used for pasturing. Many are burning trees as a faster way to clear out forests. These fires are man-made and controlling them is a tough task given the size of operations involved.

While Government is trying to portray these fires as the result of ‘dry season’, the magnitude of the fires negates their argument.

Why Amazon matters?

Amazon Forests are called as Lungs of the world. It helps in carbon sequestration and helps in reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

The forests helps in creating rainfall over Northern part of South America. If Amazon forests are destroyed, then there will be no rainfall over the forest(natural cycle) & the quality of the forest can change from rainforest to savannah. This could also result in changing of global temperature. These fires can then lead to a significant rise in temperature.

Whether Brazil choses economy or nature is a moot point, however this crisis is a lesson for the world. While cutting trees will lead to economic growth in the short run, but conserving nature will lead to all around development in the long run

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s