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Amazon Rainforest Fire: Everything we know and how you can help


Brazil has been raging for a month.

Carl De Souza / AFP / Getty Images

The Amazon Rainforest went up in flames last month, and Brazil declared a state of emergency in the region. The fires destroy the homes of indigenous tribes and millions of animal species. A tribal leader said the fires he linked to deforestation under Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro had led to genocide, CBS News said Thursday.

The number of fires in Brazil this year is the highest since 201

3 and increased by 85% year-on-year, CNN reported. To date, more than 80,000 fires have been detected in the country this year by the Brazilian Space Research Center INPE.

There are so many fires burning right now that smoke is visible from space. Astronaut of the European Space Agency Luca Parmitano recorded smoke pictures from the International Space Station on Monday. Parmitano said the haze was so widespread that it looked like clouds on some photos -e54a-4367-8100-d1b94571387e / satellite.jpg “/>

Satellite images of Rodonia earlier this month.

Satellite Image © 2019 Maxar Technologies

Attention to the fires increased worldwide last week as social media users gathered around several hashtags. People around the world went out in protest and demanded action to stop the fires. Finally, foreign politicians began to comment on social media and develop a plan to put out the fires.

Here you will find everything we know about the ongoing fires in the Amazon and various ways you can help.

What caused the fires?

While the Amazon Rainforest is normally wet and humid, July and August – the beginning of the dry season – are the driest months in the region until mid-November after NASA.

Fire is often used to clear land for agriculture or livestock. That's why the vast majority of fires can be traced back to people, said Christian Poirier, program director of the nonprofit Amazon Watch, to CNN. Without presenting evidence, Bolsonaro suggested that the fires of non-governmental organizations were fired as retaliation for the cutback of funding . He later said he never charged her, according to the BBC.

What does this have to do with climate change?

In a press release on August 22, Greenpeace said forest fires and climate change are in a vicious circle. As the number of fires increases, so does the greenhouse gas emissions. This increases the overall temperature of the planet, the organization said. With increasing temperature, extreme weather events such as large droughts are becoming more common.

"In addition to increasing emissions, deforestation is directly contributing to a change in precipitation patterns in the affected region, increasing the duration of the dry season and further affecting forests, biodiversity, agriculture and human health," said Greenpeace in the press release.

Last week, NASA released an AIRS map showing carbon monoxide associated with Brazil's fires between August 8 and 22. The animated map shows a carbon monoxide flag blossom in northwestern Amazon, south and east. and then towards San Paolo.

Which areas are affected?

The fires have spread to Bolivia and Paraguay on Wednesday, according to a Telesur report. The smoke is felt in Uruguay and Argentina. Previously, satellite images showed fires in the Brazilian states of Amazonas, Rondonia, Para and Mato Grosso. According to Euronews, the state of Amazonas is hardest hit.

Damage to the Amazon goes far beyond Brazil and its neighbors. The rainforest of the region produces more than 20% of the world's oxygen and hosts 10% of the world's known biodiversity. The Amazon is called the "lungs of the planet" and plays an important role in the regulation of the climate. The world would change drastically if the rainforest disappeared, affecting everything from farms to drinking water.

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How many fires are burning?

Over a 48-hour period through Thursday, there were more than 2,500 active fires in the Brazilian rainforest, according to the BBC.

The smoke of the fires is visible from space . The Sentinel satellites of the European Union Earth Observation Program have taken pictures of "significant amounts of smoke" across the Amazon, Rondonia and other areas. NASA has monitored the fires. Last week, satellites from the EU and NASA tweeted images of the smoke on social media. Satellites have also watched the rise in fires this year, NASA tweeted on Saturday.

On August 20, Eric Holthaus, a meteorologist, tweet data showing smoke from fires covering about half of Brazil. Later in the week, the BBC tweeted a map with similar data.

The sky over San Paulo, Brazil, blackened for an hour after a cold front on August 19, and the winds moved and carried smoke from a distance of about 1,700 miles. On Friday, Telesur TV reported that smoke could be seen from the fires in Argentina.

Were the fires extinguished?

The fires are still active. On Saturday, Amnesty International has taken a photo of the burned forests in the state of Mato Grosso. According to Euronews Bolsonaro mobilized the Brazilian army to fight the flames.

Uneven rains expected by 10 September are expected to provide only minor relief, but will not erase the fire, Reuters reported Tuesday. The rain, which is forecast for the next two weeks, should fall in the areas where it is least needed.

While Bolsonaro is criticized, US President tweeted Donald Trump his support on Tuesday . Bolsonaro responded and said Brazil is fighting the forest fires with "great success." Last week, Trump said the US was ready to support firefighting .

Bolivia's President Evo Morales commissioned a Boeing 747 "Supertanker" last week to extinguish the fires, Telesur reports. The supertanker can fly with 115,000 liters (over 30,000 gallons) and should be ready on Friday.

Were any measures taken at the G7 Summit?

Bolsonaro declined $ 20 million G7 aid package Extinguish the flames that devastate the rainforest. His chief of staff reportedly said that French President Emmanuel Macron should, according to the Guardian, "look after his home and his colonies." Bolsonaro reportedly reported that Brazil would consider international aid only if Macron withdrew comments that he found offensive to his country's protection policy.

Bolsonaro's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau swore his country will continue to support efforts to save the Amazon. He said Monday that Canada offered to send $ 15 million and "water bombers" to fight the fires, the CBC said Monday.

The weekend saw the G7 summit, an annual meeting of heads of state and government of Canada, France. Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US have agreed on the aid package on Monday according to The Hill. The Brazilian president had originally accepted the aid and tweeted that Brazil was committed to protecting the environment. What else do politicians do to help? Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro expressed concern about the fires in Brazil and Bolivia and offered help to help eradicate them. The Venezuelan Chancellery also expressed its solidarity with indigenous communities in Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay, Ecuador and Peru.

"Venezuela is deeply concerned about the gigantic and terrible fires that devastate the Amazon region on the territory of several South American countries." Venezuela's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Friday in a statement to Brasil247 that it had a serious impact on the population that have ecosystems and biodiversity of the region.

The Venezuelan government also proposed a meeting of foreign ministers of the Amazon Cooperation Organization on Friday. A letter from Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza.

Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne also issued a statement stating that the fires in Brazil were "extremely serious" and that he had turned to the European Commission.

"The Brazilian rainforests are vital to the global climate, and I am really concerned about the attitude that Brazil is currently taking towards its own forests, and Brazil should do everything it can to end the fires that endanger our entire planet Represent civilization, "said Rinne in the statement.

In addition, British MP Rebecca Long-Bailey wrote a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson requesting Johnson to inform Bolsonaro that the destruction of the Amazon must be halted.

Bolsonaro was criticized. People accuse him of lacking action and promotion of logging and agriculture in the Amazon. In early July, an anonymous high-ranking Brazilian official told the BBC that Bolsonaro was promoting deforestation. Ricardo Galvão, director of the INPE, was released on 2 August after defending data showing that deforestation in June was 88% higher than a year ago, CNN reported.

How did the public react?

Apple's Tim Cook appears to be the first tech CEO to respond with a supply offer. On Monday Cook tweeted that Apple would donate to help but he did not specify any amount.

#ActForTheAmazon started the Twitter trend and protests started last week. In Zurich on Friday morning activists of the Ecological Movement and Brazilians gathered in front of the Brazilian Consulate. In Dublin, the Extinction Rebellion Collective occupied the Brazilian Embassy. Twitter users have also taken pictures of a protest in Barcelona . Demonstrations also took place in Paris, London, Madrid and Copenhagen, Denmark.

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Indigenous tribes of the Amazon sing during a protest organized by Extinction Rebellion at the Brazilian embassy in London on Friday.

Mike Kemp / Getty Images

The hashtags #PrayforAmazonas and #AmazonRainforest were in vogue last week. Twitter users have criticized the media for paying more attention to the fire of Notre Dame and other news than the rainforest fires. Social media users also called on billionaires for lack of donations.

"The club calls on international lenders and institutions to rethink their investment in Brazil after President Jair Bolsonaro ruthlessly exploited and destroyed an important resource for the future of humanity," said Javier Sierra, Deputy Communications Director of the Sierra Club for Latin American Media said in an e-mail.

Sierra pointed out that both Norway and Germany have already announced that they will no longer provide funds for the conservation of the Amazon until Bolsonaro reverses the course.

"Those who are destroying the Amazon and continuing deforestation are encouraged by the actions and policies of the Bolsonaro government, and since their inauguration, the current government has systematically dismantled Brazilian environmental policy," Danicley Aguiar of Greenpeace Brazil said Release on Thursday.

The office of the World Wildlife Fund for European Policy published a statement on the same day. The organization called on Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela, Guyana and Suriname to protect the Amazon, fight deforestation and reduce the causes of fires. The WWF also turned to the EU and its Member States for action.

In addition, actor and environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio added a donation link to Amazon Watch on his Instagram profile and wrote about the fires. Celebrities such as Jameela Jamil Jaden Smith and John Cusack have also featured on social media to discuss the fiery devastation.

How can you help?

Here are some ways you can help protect the rainforest:

  • Donate to the Rainforest Action Network to protect one acre of Amazon 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. At the Rainforest Alliance, check that what you buy is considered rainforest-proof. You can also buy rainforest-proof products on the Allianz website.
  • Reduce your beef intake. Beef found in processed products and fast-food burgers is often associated with deforestation.
  • The World Wide Fund for Nature (known in the US and Canada as the World Wildlife Fund) protects species in the Amazon and around the world.
  • Ecosia.org is a search engine that plants a tree for every 45 searches you perform.
  • Examine the Change.org petitions. An attorney in Rio Branco has collected over 3 million signatures to investigate the fires in the Amazon.
  • Donate to Amazon Watch, an organization that protects the rainforest, defends indigenous rights, and works to combat climate change.
  • Donated to the Amazon Conservation Team, which works to combat climate change, protect the Amazon and strengthen indigenous peoples.
  • Amazon Conservation accepts donations and pinpoints where your money is going. They can help plant trees, promote education, protect habitats, buy a solar panel, protect indigenous areas, and more.
  • Turn to your elected officials and listen to your voice.
  • Donate for One Tree Planted to Stop Deforestation Around the World and the Amazon Rainforest. One Tree Planted will keep you informed about the Peru Project and how your trees affect the community.
  • Sign the Greenpeace petition calling on the Brazilian government to save the Amazon rainforest and protect the land of indigenous and traditional communities.

Editor's note: CNET is owned by CBS.

Originally posted on August 21, 2019.
Updates, August 22 and August 23: Adds more background information and statements from Greenpeace, WWF EU, and Sierra Club. Updates, 24.-27. August: Adds more background. Updates, August 28: Adds more background. Update August 30: Adds more background.

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