Fires throughout the Brazilian Amazon spur international effort
With over 57,509 fires burning in the Amazon rainforest during 2019, the impact of deforestation and agriculture in the rainforest are gaining more attention than ever before.
According to PBS News Hour’s Vicky Stein, this level of deforestation has not been seen in the Brazilian Amazon since at least 2008. Throughout the Amazon, slash and burn agriculture results in the destruction of vital, biodiverse forest. Once burned and cleared, these fields are used for the raising of livestock and crops. In this way, international demand helps fuel deforestation, as well as the uncontrollable wildfires.
The Amazon River Basin is thought to be home to 10% of the world’s species, and over 300 billion individual trees. Estimates suggest at least 25% of the rainforest will be lost by 2030 if current rates of deforestation continue unchecked.
While the G7 has pledged $20 million to help fight the fires, in addition to substantial contributions from activists such as Leonardo DiCaprio (who pledged $5 million), substantial resources are needed to reverse the degradation of the Amazon rainforest. The Brazilian government plans to unveil a reforestation effort next month, but international cooperation is needed.
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