THE SITUATION IN THE AMAZON: HOW IT EFFECTS US AND WHY YOU SHOULD CARE

LET'S BREAK THIS DOWN: BACK TO THE BASICS 

   

Through a process called photosynthesis, trees use the energy of the sun + water to convert carbon dioxide into glucose. The byproduct of this process is OXYGEN, which is released into the atmosphere, whereas carbon dioxide remains stored in the trees. 

The Amazon Rainforest is home to 1/10th of the known species on earth and approximately 1 million indigenous people. It is considered to be the planet's lungs because it produces 20% of the planet's oxygen. And if you remember, the trees also store carbon dioxide to help clean the air. So, when deforestation occurs, the carbon dioxide the trees once stored is released into the air.

 

HOW AND WHY IS THE SITUATION SO OUT OF CONTROL?

Let's rewind back to January of this year, when Brazil's current President, Jair Bolsonaro was elected into office.  His campaign echoed a pro-business and anti-environment rhetoric, and because of economic struggles, farmers are finding the economic potential of farming in the Amazon alluring.

  • Since taking office, Bolsonaro has not only significantly reduced funding towards Brazil's environmental protection agency, he has also made it difficult for the agency to give out fines for illegal deforestation.
  • Because of this, loggers and farmers have significantly increased their deforestation efforts to make land available for agriculture and cattle.

 WHAT'S WORSE:

"In addition to increasing emissions, deforestation contributes directly to a change in rainfall patterns in the affected region, extending the length of the dry season, further effecting forests, biodiversity, agriculture, and human health." - As stated in a news release by Greenpeace. 

WHAT CAN WE DO TO HELP?

Time is of the essence.  Not only for the Amazon Rainforest, but our planet as a whole.  Our resources are finite, therefore, we should all take responsibility and do our part to help save our home. Below are a few actions we can all take to get started:

  • Educate ourselves and become informed consumers
  • Look for Rainforest Alliance Certified products.
  • Bring attention to the cause
  • Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle
  • Donate: We have provided a few links to organizations that are working to save the Amazon and our planet.

Rainforest Action Network  Rainforest Trust  World Wildlife Fund Amazon Watch