The Amazon rainforest is on fire – here’s how you can help now
The Amazon rainforest fire is burning at a record rate and has been for over three weeks. The raging flames are putting over three million species of plants and animals, and one million indigenous peoples’ lives in danger.
Earlier this month, Brazil declared a state of emergency over the rising number of fires in the region. While just yesterday, French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted:
As the world starts to take notice, it’s becoming apparent that many of the rainforest fires are started deliberately by farmers and loggers. This is so they can clear land for industrial and agricultural use, such as grazing and rearing cattle.
The Amazon rainforest is home to 10% of the world’s biodiversity and a key factor in combating climate change. The world would dramatically change if the rainforest were to disappear, impacting everything from farms to drinking water, reports CNN.
With trending hashtags gathering momentum, such as #PrayForAmazonas, it’s clear that the burning rainforest needs more than just prayers and for more people to take action.
According to front line charities, local activists (including Gina Martin), campaigners and lawyers, here are seven micro actions you can take to help…
1. Click and donate to Amazon Frontlines
Grassroots charity, Amazon Frontlines focus their work on defending indigenous rights to land, life and cultural survival in the Amazon rainforest. Click to donate as much as you can afford to instantly make a difference.
2. Sign the petition
Lawyer Gabriel Santos has set up a petition on change.org in order to lobby the Brazilian government and help put an end to the burning of the rainforest. He lives in Rio Branco and with millions of global signatures as leverage, he is urging authorities to set up an inquiry to investigate the cause of the increase in fires. The number of Amazon rainforest fires is up 84% compared to 2018.
Nearly 3 million people have already signed. Your signature really counts here.
3. Follow Rainforest Alliance
This initiative know the only solution is by building an alliance of farmers, forest communities, companies, and consumers. Follow Rainforest Alliance on Instagram to read up about their good work – and encourage your friends and families to educate themselves and donate if they can too.
4. Join the Extinction Rebellion
Today on 23 August 2019, Extinction Rebellion are protesting outside the Brazilian Embassy in London. This is happening alongside 22 Brazilian Embassies and consulates around the world, and in 52 cities in Brazil, protesting the Amazon rainforest fire. They’re calling it ‘#SOSAmazonia’. Look out for other hashtags: #OurLungsAreOnFire and #ClimateIndigenousRights and join in the conversation.
5. Consider paying ‘eco tax’
This means paying between 1-5% of your salary each month to charities and organisations who are on the frontline to protect and conserve habitats. Amazon Watch and Cool Earth Action are two other great causes to support. Thanks to UK activist Gina Martin for this suggestion.
6. Eat less beef
Did you know that beef is the single most resource-heavy meat in the world? The land in the Amazon rainforest is being cleared for cattle, plus it takes around 1,1799 gallons of water to make 1lb of beef. Less demand leads to less production, which could hopefully help prevent further deliberate burning of the forests.
7. Use an eco search engine
Ecosia.org is a search engine that plants a tree for every 45 searches you run. The company itself also sets a great example as their servers run on 100% renewable energy and every search request removes 1kg of CO2 from the atmosphere.