I think we need to have a talk, did you know that the Amazon Rainforest is on fire? The largest rainforest on earth is burning, for some reason no one is talking about it, but we need to, we all need to talk about it and understand how utterly devastating it is for the whole planet.
So lets start with some facts, Ive already told you that the Amazon is the worlds largest tropical rainforest, its in South America and goes across, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana.
It is jam packed full of life, and homes 10% of all the life we know about on the whole planet. Its believed to be home to around 3 million species, from plants to mammals, with around 2.5million being insects. There’s also expected to be many more species that haven’t been discovered yet. There are many tribes of indigenous people that call the Amazon home and its believed around 50 of them have never had any contact with the outside world, they remain completely unique and untouched communities. It also holds around 25% of the worlds fresh water. So its a pretty important part of the planet, and it get even more important when you consider what it gives us.
The Amazon is often called the lungs of the earth, they literally provide us with the air that we breathe. A massive 20% of the worlds oxygen is produced by the Amazon Rainforest. The amazingly thick expanse of trees sucks in the carbon from the atmosphere and converts it to the oxgen that we breathe. The canopy of the rainforest is so thick and dense that it keeps the forest floor in complete darkness. Its believed that the trees of the Amazon hold around 140 billion tonnes of carbon, as much as humans produce in 100 years.
Its all pretty amazing isn’t it. This beautiful, mystical, stunning piece of natural beauty gives us so much and all it asks for in return is for us to take care of it.
And right now we are failing, right at this very second it is on fire, and for some reason no one is talking about it.
The Amazon is burning, and its likely because of humans setting fires to clear trees so they can use the land for agriculture and cattle ranching. This year alone there have been 73000 recorded fires in the Amazon, thats a rise of around 85% from last year, with 9000 in the last week alone. The current fires are so big that the smoke from them can be seen from space.
This time of year is the dry season in the Amazon and so of course wildfires are expected, but they wouldn’t be expected in this size of volume. As fire is often used as a fast way to clear land for agriculture and cattle it s believed that that is the root cause of the current fires. Deforestation has been increasing and the amount this year already accounts for more than the previous 3 years combined.
The Amazon can’t sustain such high levels of deforestation, it is taking away the habitat of millions of species, an amazing eco system with a huge bio diveristy at its heart, and in losing that we will lose one of our planets biggest keys to controlling climate change, something we simply wont ever be able to replace.
There is a real worry that if deforestation goes too far we will lose the Amazon rainforest completely, a lot of the amazons rainfall is produced by the Amazon itself, if it is lost then rainfall will drop and it wont be able to survive at all.
So how can you help, I know it feels like there’s very little you can do as an individual when it comEs to things like this, but there are things you can do.
Your voice is your biggest asset when it comes to things like this, tell everyone you know about what is happening, explain why the amazon is so important for life on earth and the threats that its facing right now, when you see people sharing news and stories and images make sure you share them too, awareness is the first step in making a difference.
You can of course donate to groups that are out there trying to make a difference, funding helps to spread awareness and put up a fight Out on the front line.
Visit and support
They, amongst others are doing amazing work for the rainforest everyday, and really do deserve our support,
Something you can do everyday is to make conscious choices, be aware of where the things you buy are coming from, look into the companies that you use and make sure you are supporting those that are acting responsibly. Beef is a big issue for Amazon deforestation, land is cleared for cattle and to grow food for the cattle, by avoiding beef you can help to diminish demand for it, if there’s no demand they will stop producing it. Try to eliminate or reduce beef and dairy products in your diet.
Lastly, lets get political, when it comes to election time make sure you vote for those that understand the climate crisis and that are committed to taking the actions that are needed, and right now you can write to those in power, send letters and emails, tag them on social media, make them understand how important it is, if hey know its what we all want then they have to start listening.
So there we go, now you’ve finished reading please go tell a friend, go share some photos, raise some awareness, start doing your bit right now, right this second, right from your sofa.