Ways to Help the Amazon Rain Forest | The Earth Needs You Right Now
The Amazon rainforest is currently suffering from a massive fire that has been burning for 3 weeks. Therefore, massive is an understatement, and we need to do something to help it. The Amazon is the largest rainforest in the world, with over 140 billion acres of forest. The health of the planet is also directly linked to the Amazon, as it holds between 90-140 billion metric tons of carbon. The Amazon also produces 20% of the entire planet’s oxygen, often times called the “Lungs of the Earth”. You might not be able to physically help put out the fire by jumping onto an airplane and flying down. That just isn’t feasible for a majority of people, but you can do a few other things to help.
Protect an Acre
The Rainforest Action Network’s program called Protect an Acre aims to help locals protecting their rainforests and local habitats. By donating to Protecting An Acre, you can help through the grants given to combat the fires and giving a helping hand to the local citizens. You also aid in protecting the rights of the local people in these endangered areas from those who do not have their best interests at heart. This organization focuses on helping the indigenous people be self sustaining and develop new green policies. Protect an Acre often lobbies against the practice of simply buying up land. This is because even if the endangered land gets bought, it could be ignored still.
Another action plan similar to the Protect An Acre plan, is assisting in buying endangered land to protect. The Rainforest Trust aims to protect rainforests and other threatened habitats buy purchasing them so they cannot be bought by developers. By working with expert conservationists, they combine the local knowledge with theirs to find which permanent habitats are in immediate danger. They then make a conservation plan based on scientific data, and raise funds to purchase the area. They also advocate for community involvement, making sure the locals and their officials sustain the protection. Your donation to this action plan is a good way to make a lasting impression and help others.
As a nonprofit dedicated to the conservation of the Amazon Rainforest, Amazon Watch has been around since 1996. Their three main focuses are:
- Stopping rainforest destruction due to deforestation and pollution. Over 20% of the forest has been destroyed through deforestation.
- Aiding the indigenous people in the struggle for their land and natural homes. Amazon Watch promotes these indigenous-led action plans, such as green energy and solar power. They also expand capacity for indigenous leaders, especially women, to maintain their sovereignty and be self sustaining.
- Fighting against climate change. The most vulnerable people to the changes to the environment and corporate greed, are usually the indigenous. Amazon watch joined the movement in order to bring those harming the earth to justice, and support those fighting for it.
You can help this organization in their fight for the Amazon by donating, or if you have the means, volunteering. Check out their website for more information.
Every year, billions of dollars are donated and granted to large corporations. Often times, those corporations (usually oil and natural gas) are the ones behind the wheel of destruction. The reason these companies keep getting grants, are because of their lobbyists who fight for them in the government. Lobbyists get signatures and run fundraisers to influence governments to take action in a particular party’s interest. By signing the Save The Amazon petition here, you can do your part to give a voice to the people in the Amazon who need it. This is a free way to help, and an easy one.
The World Wildlife Foundation has a petition for stronger laws to protect the environment as well, here.
With no previous notice that the Amazon has been burning for weeks, millions have turned to social media. While this may seem like trying to fan out the fire from home, it does raise awareness about the catastrophe. Similar to lobbying and signing petitions, social media garners the attention of even the most powerful people in the world, as you may know already. Speak out! Share posts on Facebook. Tweet out on Twitter. Post on message boards. Get the message out there! The Earth’s lungs are in grave danger, and therefore the rest of the world is too. Every little thing you can do to help, do it.