The Amazon rainforest is burning at a record rate. Earlier this month, Brazil declared a state of emergency over the rising number of fires in the region. So far this year, almost 73,000 fires have been detected by Brazil’s space research center, INPE.
What caused the fire?
While theis typically wet and humid, July and August — the onset of the dry season — are the region’s driest months, with “activity” peaking by early September and stopping by mid-November, according to NASA.
Fire is often used to clear out the land for farming or ranching. For that reason, a vast majority of the fires can be attributed to humans, said Christian Poirier, program director of the nonprofit Amazon Watch.
How big is the fire?
You can see the smoke from space. The European Union Earth Observation Program’s Sentinel satellites captured images of “significant amounts of smoke” over Amazonas, Rondonia and other areas.
How can you help?
It’s unlikely you’re one of the people who can actually help douse the blaze, but there are other ways you can aid in protecting the rainforest.
- 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. Double-check with Rainforest Alliance that what you’re buying is considered rainforest-safe. You can also purchase rainforest-safe products from the alliance’s site.
- Reduce your beef intake. Beef found in processed products and fast-food burgers often comes from the rainforest.
- The World Wide Fund for Nature works to protect the species in the Amazon and around the world.
- Ecosia.org is a search engine that plants a tree for every 45 searches you run.
- Explore Change.org petitions. A lawyer in Rio Branco has accumulated over 77,000 of his 150,000 signature goal to mobilize an investigation into the Amazonian fires.
- Donate to Amazon Watch, an organization that protects the rainforest, defends Indigenous rights and works to address climate change.
- Donate to the Amazon Conservation Team, which works to fight climate change, protect the Amazon and empower Indigenous peoples.
- Amazon Conservation accepts donations and lists exactly what your money goes toward. You can help plant trees, sponsor education, protect habitats, buy a solar panel, preserve Indigenous lands and more.
- Donate to One Tree Planted, which works to stop deforestation around the world and in the Amazon Rainforest. One Tree Planted will keep you updated on the Peru Project and the impact your trees are having on the community.
- Sign Greenpeace’s petition telling the Brazilian government to save the Amazon rainforest and protect the lands of indigenous and traditional communities.