Amazon rainforest fires are still burning: What you need to know and how you can help?
Brazil, Aug 16: The Amazon rainforest is burning at a record rate-- the highest on record since 2013. The latest fires has prompted anti-government protests and international furore. Earlier this month, Brazil declared a state of emergency over the rising number of fires in the region.
So far this year, 40,341 fires have been recorded, which is about 35 per cent higher than the average for the first eight months of each year since 2010.
How did the Amazon rainforest fires start?
The space agency said it had detected more than 74,000 fires between January and August and more than 9,500 forest fires since Thursday, mostly in the Amazon region.
However, the natural fires in the Amazon are rare, but it is common for the Amazon to witness fires during the dry season - which runs from July to October.
After Global outcry, Brazil deploys Army to fight Amazon fires:
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Friday said he might send the military to fight massive fires in the Amazon as an international outcry over his handling of the environmental crisis grows. Military aircrafts and 44,000 troops will be available to fight fires sweeping through parts of the Amazon region. The defense and environment ministers have outlined plans to battle the blazes that have prompted an international outcry as well as demonstrations in Brazil against President Jair Bolsonaro's handling of the environmental crisis.
Pressure, prayers and protests
Amazonas, Brazil's largest state, declared a state of emergency on August 9 while Acre has been on environmental alert since August 16 due to the fires. Unconvinced, thousands of Brazilians have taken to the streets in protests throughout the country, demanding an end to the environmental disaster. A man can be wearing a mask President Donald Trump, front left, is joined by other 'world leaders' during a protest ahead of the G-7 summit in Biarritz, France.
Why does the Amazon matter?
It should be noted that Amazon Brazil is home to approximately 200 million head of cattle, and is the largest exporter in the world, supplying about one-quarter of the global market. And it has the largest tropical forest in the world, covering more than five million square kilometres across nine countries: Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela.
Social media outrage over Amazon forest fire
Social media users around the world have latched on to #PrayForAmazonia and #PrayForAmazon, pushing the topic towards the top of Twitter's global trends earlier this week.
As Amazon burns, G7 nations close to agreement on tackling Amazon fires
Tackling the record-setting wildfires in the Amazon rainforest has been made a priority among leaders gathered at the Group of Seven summit in France. French President Emmanuel Macron put the fires at the top of the summit's agenda and announced Sunday that the G7 was close to finalizing a deal to provide "technical and financial help" to countries affected by the fires.
How can you help?
- Donate to Rainforest Action Network to protect an acre of the Amazonian rainforest.
- Donate to the Rainforest Trust to help buy land in the rainforest. Since 1988, the organization has saved over 23 million acres.
- Reduce your paper and wood consumption
- The World Wide Fund for Nature (known as the World Wildlife Fund in the US and Canada) works to protect the species in the Amazon and around the world.
- Donate to the Amazon Conservation Team, which works to fight climate change, protect the Amazon and empower Indigenous peoples.