The number of fires in Brazil this year is the highest since 2013 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.
The focus on the fires increased worldwide last week as social media users rallied around several trend hashtags. People around the world also took to the streets protesting and calling for action to stop the fires. Finally, foreign politicians also talked in social media and devised a plan to erase 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 usually wet and humid, July and August – the beginning of the dry season – are the driest months in the region, with "peak activity" peaking in early September and ending after 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.
Bolsonaro has publicly stated that he believes the fires had been laid by non-governmental organizations as a retaliatory measure for cutting funding . Bolsonaro provided no evidence for his allegations and later said he never accused groups according to the BBC.
What is the connection 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.
Which areas are affected?
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.
The World Meteorological Organization, the United Nations Weather Service, tweeted on Thursday about the fires .  "Fires release pollutants such as particles and toxic gases such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and organic compounds into the atmosphere without methane," the organization said.
How many fires are burning?
Over a 48-hour period through Thursday, the BBC reported more than 2,500 active fires in the Brazilian rainforest.
The smoke from the fires was visible from spaceThe 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.
On August 20, Eric Holthaus, a meteorologist, tweet data showing smoke from the fires that cover 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 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. Bolsonaro mobilized the Brazilian army to fight the flames, Euronews said.
There were reports of isolated rain and thunderstorms on Thursday. Uneven rains expected by 10 September are expected to bring only minor relief, but will not help quench the fire, Reuters reported Tuesday. The rain forecast for the next two weeks should fall in those areas where it is least needed.
Bolivia's President Evo Morales commissioned a Boeing 747 "Supertanker" on Wednesday to help extinguish the fires, Telesur reported. 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 rejected a $ 20 million G7 aid package that would go to extinguish the flames that devastate the Amazon rainforest. According to CBS News, he is said to have told French President Emmanuel Macron to look after "his home and his colonies."
Bolsonaro's office did not immediately respond to the request for comment.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau vowed his country would 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.
At the weekend, the G7 summit hosted an annual meeting of heads of state and government of Canada, France and Germany Instead, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US – agreed on the aid package on Monday according to The Hill. The Brazilian president had initially accepted the aid and tweeted that Brazil was campaigning for environmental protection .
What else do politicians do to help?
President Donald Trump tweeted on Friday that he spoke to Bolsonaro.
"I told him that if the United States can help with the fires in the Amazon rainforest, we stand ready to help," Trump said in his post.
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro expressed concern about the fires in Brazil and Bolivia and offered help to fight 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. Posting of 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 calling on Johnson to tell Bolsonaro that the destruction of the Amazon must be stopped.
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. In a Facebook video, Galvão announced that he had been dismissed by the agency following a meeting with Brazil's Minister of Science, Technology, Innovation and Communications, Marcos Pontes.
How has the public reacted?
Apple CEO Tim Cook appears to be the first tech CEO to respond to the fires. On Monday.
#ActForTheAmazon started the Twitter trend and protests started last week. In Zurich on Friday morning activists of the Klimastreik-Ökologiebewegung 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 have also begun in Paris, London, Madrid and Copenhagen, Denmark.
The hashtags #PrayforAmazonas and #AmazonRainforest were in vogue earlier this week. Twitter users have criticized the media for paying more attention and other news than the rainforest fires. Social media users also called on billionaires for lack of donations.
"The Sierra Club is pursuing a comprehensive strategy to protect mature growth forests in the US and elsewhere, particularly in the Amazon region, calling on international lenders and institutions to invest in Brazil following the reckless exploitation and destruction of President Jair Bolsonaro Javier Sierra, deputy communications director of the Sierra Club for Latin American Media, said in an email that this was an important resource for the future of humanity.
Sierra pointed out that both Norway and Germany had already announced Bolsonaro will reverse the course until Bolsonaro reverses the course.
"Those who are destroying the Amazon and continuing their deforestation are encouraged by the actions and policies of the Bolsonaro government. Since taking office, the current government has systematically dismantled Brazilian environmental policy, "said Danicley Aguiar of Greenpeace Brazil, publishing a statement on Thursday.
The same day, the European Office of the World Wildlife Fund issued a statement.
" In the face of this ecological devastation, calls The WWF calls on the countries of the region – Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela, Guyana and Suriname – to protect the Amazon, to tackle deforestation and to reduce the causes of these fires and to curb the impact of EU consumption the deforestation and destruction of other ecosystems around the world associated with commodities such as soya, palm oil, cocoa or meat.
In addition, actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio added: Donate link to Amazon Watch on his Instagram profile and posted on the fires. Celebrities such as Jameela Jamil Jaden Smith and John Cusack have also volunteered to talk about the fiery devastation in the social media.
How can you help?
Here are some ways you can help conserve the rainforest:
- Donate to the Rainforest Action Network to protect one-acre 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 paperwork. and Rain Forest Consumption Check with the Rainforest Alliance to make sure that what you buy is rainforest-proofed, or you can use rainforest-proof products on the Allianz k 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.
- Search 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 against 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.
- Contact your elected officials and listen to your voice.
- Donate to One Tree Planted to stop deforestation around the world and in the Amazon rainforest. One Tree Planted will keep you informed about the Peru Project and how your trees affect the community.
- Sign Greenpeace's petition calling on the Brazilian government to save the Amazon rainforest and protect the land of indigenous and traditional communities.
Originally released on August 21, 2019.
Updates on August 22 and August 23: Adds more background information and statements from Greenpeace, WWF EU and Sierra Club. Updates August 24: Adds more background. Aug. 25, Aug. 26 and Aug. 27 Update: Adds background.