The Brazilian rainforest is going up in smoke as the world watches, thousands of acres of forest and the animals whose home it is consumed by flames.
Earth Alliance, backed by Leonardo DiCaprio, donated $5 million to five local authorities to tackle the fires burning through the forest for more than two weeks already.
Instituto Associacao Floresta Protegida (Kayapo), Coordination of the Indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon (COIAB), Instituto Kabu (Kayapo), Instituto Raoni (Kayapo) and Instituto Socioambiental (ISA) have been tasked with combatting the fires.
Earth Alliance was started In July with DiCaprio and billionaire business investors and philanthropists, Laurene Powell Jobs and Brian Sheth. The Alliance is committed to addressing the threats of climate change crisis, loss of biodiversity and the stability of our planet.
DiCaprio, on Instagram last week, explained the dire situation:
“The lungs of the Earth are in flames.’’
“The Brazilian Amazon – home to 1 million Indigenous people and 3 million species – has been burning for more than two weeks straight.
“There have been 74,000 fires in the Brazilian Amazon since the beginning of this year – a staggering 84% increase over the same period last year (National Institute for Space Research, Brazil).’’
“Scientists and conservationists attribute the accelerating deforestation to President Jair Bolsonaro, who issued an open invitation to loggers and farmers to clear the land after taking office in January. The largest rainforest in the world is a critical piece of the global climate solution.’’
“Without the Amazon, we cannot keep the Earth’s warming in check. The Amazon needs more than our prayers.”
He encouraged regular folk, wherever they are, to get involved with these words:
“So what can YOU do?’’
“As an emergency response, donate to front line Amazon groups working to defend the forest.
“Consider becoming a regular supporter of the Rainforest Alliance’s community forestry initiatives across the world’s most vulnerable tropical forests, including the Amazon; this approach is by far the most effective defence against deforestation and natural forest fires, but it requires deep, long-term collaboration between the communities and the public and private sectors.
“Stay on top of this story and keep sharing posts, tagging news agencies and influencers.
“Be a conscious consumer, taking care to support companies committed to responsible supply chains. Eliminate or reduce consumption of beef; cattle ranching is one of the primary drivers of Amazon deforestation.
“When election time comes, VOTE for leaders who understand the urgency of our climate crisis and are willing to take bold action – including strong governance and forward-thinking policy.’’
This year has seen the highest number of fires, already over 72,000, ever recorded in the Amazon. The mammoth task to save the lungs of the earth has begun. Safety and success to the teams taking on this crucial job.
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