For nearly three weeks, the Amazon rainforest—often referred to as the ‘lungs of the planet’—has been on fire.
This is the rainforest that provides 20% of the world’s oxygen. This year alone, Brazil has had a record-breaking 73,000 fires in the Amazon region, which is an 83% increase from 2018 alone. Because of these raging fires, Brazil declared a state of emergency earlier this month. From satellite data, it has been revealed that every single minute, the rainforest burns at the size of a football field.
But besides the fact that the Amazon rainforest is a vital defense against the growing climate change, it is also the home of three million species of animals and plants and also one million indigenous people.
Since the Brazilian President Jair Bolsanaro took office in 2019, he has encouraged loggers and farmers to clear the rainforest land and prioritize the economic gain over the lands of Indigenous Amazonians. Hence, the extreme deforestation that leads to forest fires. It was only until now (three weeks later) that the media caught the attention of the worsening situation.
So how can you help?
When the Notre Dame caught fire, news spread quickly worldwide thanks to social media. In the same way, this Amazon rainforest fire needs as much—if not more—attention from all of us.
Here are some ways you can save the Amazon rainforest online:
1. Rainforest Alliance Org
The rainforest alliance is an organization committed to helping reforest parts of the world and slow down mass deforestation. At the moment, if you donate to them, they will give 100% of the donations to stop deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. You can help by sending your donations on their website.
2. Rainforest Action Network
The rainforest action network is another organization committed to fighting mass deforestation. They work closely with indigenous communities, using donations to send resources directly to indigenous communities impacted by the amazon fires. You may send your donations here.
3. Amazon Watch
The Amazon Watch, a non-profit organization whose entire mission is to protect the amazon and advocate for the rights of indigenous people for whom the amazon is home. They partner with indigenous and environmental organizations in campaigns for human rights, corporate accountability, and preservation of the Amazon’s ecological systems. Send in your donations here.
4. Search on Ecosia
We know that not everyone has the money to donate to the above-mentions organizations. Instead of using Google for the meantime, you can use Ecosia as your search engine. For every 45 searches you hit, a tree is planted in parts of the world where we need it the most. While this isn’t specific to the Amazon, mass deforestation and aggressive agriculture are still problems we face all over the world.
5. Sign a petition
A petition by Brazilian lawyer, Gabriel Santos who lives in Rio Branco, needs all the signs he can get to ask the government of Brazil to launch an investigation into the fires and mobilize the burning of the Amazon rainforest. A simple inquiry can help make sure that this doesn’t happen again. You may sign the petition here.