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Amazon on Fire – What can we do?

Mass deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest.

More than 72,000 fire outbreaks in Brazil have occurred this year – an increase by 84% from 2018 (according to the National Institute for Space Research)

Though the Amazon rainforest feels geographically far from the UK, it remains the heart of the planet. Since July, the deforestation rate was an area the size of Manhattan every day largely due to the ‘Bolsonarism’ politics currently entrenched within Brazil. Bolsonarism, however, is not just a threat to Brazil, but to the entire planet as it is destroying the forest vital to the control of the Earth’s heating.

“What we are doing to the forests of the World is but a mirror reflection of what we are doing to ourselves and one another.”

Mahatma Gandhi 

What can individuals do?

Social media has contributed greatly to raising the awareness of the crisis. Sharing or reposting a picture on social media contributes to increasing the pressure on governments and politicians to act. The more voices involved, the greater a demand for a rallying cry. Notably, celebrities from Cristiano Ronaldo to Madonna via Twitter and Instagram have called for more action from President Bolsonaro. But, there is also much more that one can do.

The most important actions are collective and political. For example, donate to organisations such as WWF, Greenpeace or Amazon Watch. All of which support the forest and biodiversity. The WWF is currently calling on the UK Government to put the Amazon emergency on to the top of the G7 agenda. To support this, sign the petition here

Our connection to the rainforest may feel farfetched. But, as consumers, we can be more careful about buying Brazilian beef or other products unless certified by groups such as the Rainbow Alliance.

Mia Haffety

Featured image courtesy of Miguel Pinheiro/CIFOR via Flickr. No changes made to the image. Licence found here.

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