The Amazon, which is the world’s largest rainforest, plays an important role for the entire planet like producing an estimated 20 per cent of Earth’s oxygen. The trees have been taking in the carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere and helped in slowing down the rising temperatures. But now with most of it ravaged by fire, all the good that it has been doing is being turned into ashes, literally.
The fire is so big that the smoke can be seen all the way from space, as evident from NASA satellite images. The smoke from the raging fires has left much of the center of South America shrouded in it.
Satellite image of the smoke from the Amazon fires. Photo Courtesy: NASA
Environmentalists say that humans are responsible for the fires ravaging the Amazon, and while land is required for farming, taking such a drastic step to clear it, can be avoided.
Most fires are started for clearing the land. Photo Courtesy: Instagram/rainforestalliance
What is done cannot be undone, but people can help reforestation and slow deforestation by joining hands with teams fighting to save the rainforest, like Rainforest Trust, Rainforest Alliance, Amazon Conservation Team and Amazon Conservation Association.
According to cnn.com, while the Rainforest Trust lets you restrict your donations to one project, the Rainforest Alliance uses 100 per cent of your donation to help stop deforestation in Brazil right now. Both are working with local groups who are fighting to preserve the rainforest.
Apart from donating money, you can also help by making sure that the product you buy is rainforest safe. Anything with the Rainforest Alliance Certified™ seal means that the item has come from a farm that has passed audits and met standards for sustainability. When it comes to buying tropical wood products, one can look for the label Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
Buying certified items can ensure that the products are not contributing to illegal logging and deforestation.
Nigel Sizer, tropical forest ecologist and chief program officer with the Rainforest Alliance, said as per the newest science, if more than about 30 per cent to 40 per cent of the Amazon rainforest is cleared, it will begin to dry out and we will hit an irreversible tipping point.