In a situation that has now been declared as a national emergency, the Amazon rainforest has been burning at record rate for three weeks straight now. The catastrophic event has destroyed the home of hundreds of indigenous people, as well as the habitat of thousands of various species and wildlife. The fires have become so large that NASA has even been able to observe them from outer space. This Monday, the vast clouds of smoke caused a daytime blackout in São Paulo, a city located more than 2,700 km away from the Amazon.
Although wildfires are common during the dry season, many fires are now deliberately started to illegally clear the land for cattle ranching. These intentional fires, combined with illegal logging of trees, has contributed to an immense devastation. In fact, the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE) has stated that 1,345 km of the rainforest were lost in July 2019.
This is not only a national emergency; it urgently requires international attention. The Amazon Rainforest, famously known as the planet’s lungs, produces 20% of the world’s oxygen. It has become crucial towards slowing down the rate of global warming. Disconcertingly, there has been very little media coverage about the situation until now, three weeks after the situation started.
Urgent measures must be taken worldwide to mitigate the situation. On these potential solutions depends the future of ourplanet.