Amazon rain forest which is the largest forest in the world has been burning for close to 48 hours now. The forest which covers the large part of Brazil is very important to the human race.
Amazonas, Brazil’s largest state, declared a state of emergency on August 9 while Acre has been on environmental alert since August 16 due to the fires.
What’s causing them?
Fires are a regular and natural occurrence in the Amazon at this time of year, during the dry season. During the dry season, fires are very common in the rainforest.
But environmentalists and non-governmental organizations have attributed the record number of fires to farmers setting the forest alight to clear land for pasture and to loggers razing the forest for its wood, with INPE itself ruling out natural phenomena being responsible for the surge.
Most critics say far-right President Bolsonaro’s weakening of Brazil’s environmental agency, IBAMA, and push to open up the Amazon region for more farming and mining has emboldened such actors and created a climate of impunity for those felling the forest illegally. It’s during the tenure of Bolsonaro that deforestation has skyrocketed by 21 percent.
Why is Amazon rainforest important to the world?
The reason why Amazon rain forest matters are that its largest tropical forest in the world, covering more than five million square kilometers across nine countries: Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela.
“The Amazon is the most significant climate stabilizer we have, it creates 20 percent of the air we breathe and it also holds 20 percent of the fresh flowing water on the planet,” Poirier said.
Amazon rainforest acts as an enormous carbon sink, storing up to an estimated 100 years worth of carbon emissions produced by humans, and is seen as vital to slowing the pace of global warming. Global warming is a major challenge to the world currently.
Former president of the United States Barrack Obama even declared Global Warming the most challenge in the world during G-Summit in France. However, Donald Trump dismissed it saying nuclear weapons are the most dangerous to human life.
Most Scientists have warned that if tree loss in the Amazon rainforest were to pass a certain “tipping point”, somewhere between 28 and 42 percent, deforestation could start to feed on itself and it could lead to the demise of the forest within a matter of decades.
“One of the cornerstones of climatic stability on our planet is in peril and the consequences of this are almost too large to fathom,” Poirier said. “The future of our civilization depends on its integrity.”
Amazon is home of close to 30 million people, who have been staying there for at least 11,000 years. About two-thirds who live in cities craved our of greenery.