The Amazon Is Burning

You may have seen in the news that the Amazon has been burning at a rapid rate. This is heart breaking for the planet and will no doubt have an effect on our ecosystem.

The Amazon is a wet jungle, which means that it should not burn but over the last decade, vast areas of the rainforest have been lost to fire. Fires that were lit to clear neighbouring land for farming have spread into the forest during the dry season.
Satellites have detected 72,843 forest fires in the country so far – with 9,507 spotted in the last week.

The rainforest is known as the “lungs of the planet” because it provides the vital role of absorbing planet-warming carbon dioxide, and produces more than 20% of the Earth’s oxygen.

“Presidents and representatives from seven countries in South America’s Amazon region met in Colombia on Friday to discuss a joint strategy for preserving the world’s largest rainforest, which has been under threat from a record number of wildfires.

At the summit, the seven countries signed a pact to coordinate disaster response and satellite monitoring, along with creating an information network to enhance cooperation in the face of natural disasters like wildfires.

The pact will also increase cooperation on fighting causes of deforestation, including illegal mining and forest clearing for agriculture and drug trafficking.

A notable absentee at the meeting was Jair Bolsonaro, the president of Brazil, where tens of thousands of forest fires have been recorded so far this year.

Bolsonaro had originally called for the meeting in response to international attempts at intervention, saying Latin American countries in the region should manage the situation themselves.

The Brazilian leader, a climate-change sceptic, has come under international criticism over his environmental policies favouring agriculture and mining, which are thought to have encouraged farmers to start many fires to clear land for grazing and crops.

The fires in the Amazon region are of immense international concern, as the rainforest there has a decisive effect on both the regional and global climate while being one of the most biodiverse areas on Earth.” – 

The thoughtless actions of a few, setting the Amazon ablaze – the home of many species of animals, plants, and one million indigenous people only increases the concerns for this planet. With a climate emergency, the actions of human beings are vital in stopping the planet’s demise. The lungs of our planet are being burnt away, and for the most part the press are quiet.

#PrayforAmazonia and #PrayForTheAmazon have been trending on  social media, particularly Twitter, and the images are a real wake up call.