The Amazon Rainforest in Brazil is the world’s largest tropical forest. It home to around one million indigenous people and three million species of plants and animals, it also slows down the pace of global warming, as a vital carbon store.
The area has seen a record number of fires this year, with the National Institute for Space Research (Inpe), detecting 72,843 fires between January and August. This represents a staggering increase of 84 percent compared to the same period in 2018.
— WWF UK ? (@wwf_uk) August 21, 2019
Reasons for fires
The blazes can be a result of wildfires and those deliberately set to illegally clear the forest for cattle ranching, leading many to blame the country’s president Jair Bolsonaro, who pledged to develop the region for farming and mining when he took office in January, despite the warnings of conservationists around deforestation.
Over the last 10 years, Brazilian governments had slowed the rate of deforestation, implementing a system of fines and action by federal agencies.
But there has been a decline in the number of environmental crime convictions and timber confiscations under Bolsonaro, who has criticized the penalties implemented by former ministers.
The fires have led to commentary from those around the world, including Hamilton, who took to Instagram to say: “It is devastating to see our world suffer. The Amazon rainforest is burning at a record rate, and there have been 80 percent more fires this year compared to last.
“Scientists refer to the Amazon as the earth’s lungs as it produces 20 percent of the oxygen we breathe. More than a soccer field is being destroyed every minute every day, the world needs to come together and help.
“If you haven’t already, please post about it, it is vital we continue to spark action. @unitednations if there is anything I can do, I’m ready to help in any way I can.”