IMPORTANT FACTS TO KNOW
Fires started by farmers and loggers seeking to use Amazon land for industrial or agricultural purposes, have now turned into miles and miles of flames consuming everything in their path.
The "lungs of the planet" are burning at a record rate.
Simply put, there is NOWHERE TO RUN.
The largest state in Brazil, Amazonas, has declared a state of emergency. Last week, thousands of miles away from the fires, the smoke plunged Brazil's largest city, Sao Paulo into a midday darkness. The amount of burning plant matter necessary to create that much smoke is catastrophic.
Deforestation could spell disaster for the world's largest rainforest, and some of the most impacted are the indigenous people of the regions.
HISTORY OF DEFORESTATION
THE DIRT ON DEFORESTATION
The Amazon has been thriving and keeping the planet in balance for centuries.
So why is it burning now?
Tropical rainforests are some of the wettest ecosystems on earth, and therefor rarely burn. However, due to deforestation, humans have now changed that ecosystem, making the region susceptible to fast-spreading fires capable of unprecedented destruction.
Deforestation has been used as a standard agricultural practice for over 50years now. And today, at least a football field of land is destroyed every 60 seconds. That means 24x60 footballs fields of rainforest are cut or burned every single day.
In the Amazon, this land is then used for the purpose of growing soy, raising cattle, and producing palm oil. In the past few years, old deforestation violations have been dropped, and new laws passed to allow for agricultural economy to expand.
*Complicity in Destruction II report: https://amwt.ch/4416
THE GIFT OF THE AMAZON
Did you know that the Amazon is home to the most biodiverse ecosystem in the world?
As the world's largest rainforest, the Amazon covers more land than the continental United States.
It holds 1/3 of the Earth's plant and animal species and produces 1/5 of all its flowing fresh water.
Nearly 400 separate indigenous tribes depend on the Amazon rainforest for their physical and cultural survival.
If we continue with our current rates of deforestation, almost 50% of the Amazon is projected to be gone or severely damaged by 2020.
Across the world, we now recognize that the health of the Amazon is not only important - but absolutely crucial to sustaining life on a global scale.
And yet, we continue to destroy this exact environments which is so necessary for life on earth to exist.
We strive for a world in which governments, corporations and civil society respect the collective rights of indigenous peoples to free, prior and informed consent over any activity affecting their territories and resources.
We commit, in the spirit of partnership and mutual respect, to support our indigenous allies in their efforts to protect life, land, and culture in accordance with their aspirations and needs, as well as the needs of future generations.
IN THIS TOGETHER
We must remember that the Amazon is not just home to plants and animals.
Millions of indigenous people live here, and have been fighting for their land for years. In fact, in Brazil, the indigenous people's have recently won a huge lawsuit against big-oil. The result of this lawsuit aims to drastically reduce deforestation. This is just the first step.
In order to create true change, we need to work together. Unify partners with indigenous and environmental organizations in campaigns for human rights, corporate accountability and the preservation of the Amazon's ecological systems.
We believe that indigenous self-determination is a critical component of any successful conservation strategy for the Amazon, and see that indigenous knowledge, cultures and traditional practices contribute greatly to sustainable and equitable stewardship of Mother Earth.
THE FIRES HAVE BEEN BURNING SINCE AT LEAST AUGUST 10TH
IT TOOK THE WORLD ALMOST 2 WEEKS TO EVEN FIND OUT.
NOW, WE MUST DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.
DAY OF FIRE
On August 10th Bolsonaro held a "Day of Fire." This was a day dedicated to clearing the land for farming. This cannot be called anything but genocide.
When Bolsonaro was running for president, he made campaign promises to restore the economy by exploring (or exploiting) the Amazon's economic potential. Environmental organizations report that he strongly encourages ranchers, farmers, and loggers to cut/burn the rainforest like never before.