Nearly 73,000 wildfires have decimated the Amazon rainforest this year, a record amount for an ecosystem that produces 20% of Earth’s oxygen. From celebrities and politicians throughout the world to locals, frustration and mourning continues to mount over the amount of man-made devastation in the Amazon.
Brazil’s space research center INPE has reported a recent 84% increase in forest fires from the same period in 2018. NASA satellite images showed the smoke all the way from space. It traveled to nearby cities and those even thousands of miles away such as Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Environmentalists say humans are the root cause of the Amazon fires — not wind or heat. The surge has coincided with the arrival of right-wing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who critics feel has emboldened farmers and ranchers to clear land to create pastures, therefore speeding up the rate of deforestation.
Despite no evidence, Bolsonaro blamed nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) for the fires again Thursday, BBC News reported. He also said there aren’t enough resources to fight the fires, but stated the government is investigating.
How to help the Amazon rainforest
The Amazon is the largest rainforest in the world and vital to combating climate change. In the aftermath of the wildfires, several organizations have stepped up to assist in aid or other ways to help save the Amazon. The following organizations have been rated 4 out of 5 stars by Charity Navigator, a non-profit that evaluates financial health, transparency and accountability in charities.
- Amazon Conservation Team fights climate change, protect the Amazon and empower indigenous peoples.
- Amazon Conservation Association accepts donations and lists exactly what your money goes toward –– whether it’s planting trees, sponsoring education, buying a solar panel and preserving indigenous lands.
- Donate to the Rainforest Trust to help buy land in the rainforest. The organization has saved over 23 million acres and counting since 1988.
- The Rainforest Foundation is committed to making sure donations made reaches projects such as supporting environmental defenders, indigenous advocacy organizations and deforestation monitoring.
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