The mighty Amazon rain forest is one of the most valuable things on the planet earth. This tropical rain forest helps us in multiple ways; without the Amazonia, the planet will be too hostile for the life we know. The Amazon Aid Foundation lists several aspects in regard to the global importance of the Amazonia. In terms of freshwater, 20% of the world’s freshwater is found here. The rich biodiversity of the rain forest provides us with millions of medicinal plants crucial to treat critical health conditions; for example, 70% of plants found to have anticancer properties grow in the rainforest. The lungs of our earth produce 20% of the planet’s oxygen. The land of the amazon which is rich in minerals also provides living beings with food. In fact, around 80% of our favorite foods originally came from rainforests. (Source)
Even though Amazon is not a man built, it is a man- destroyed, to a great extent. Natural causes aside, human activities have been the principal cause of the destruction of the Amazon. The Amazonia has witnessed large scale destruction this year, with more than 87,000 forest fires in the first eight months of the year (Source). The BBC states that “The northern states of Roraima, Acre, Rondônia, and Amazonas have been particularly badly affected.”
The forest fires are common in the dry season due to natural causes, but this year, the elevated number of fires is mostly caused by human activities such as “farmers and loggers clearing land for crops or grazing.” (Source)
“The recent increase in the number of fires in the Amazon is directly related to intentional deforestation and not the result of an extremely dry season, according to the Amazon Environmental Research Institute (Ipam).” (Source)
This devastating destruction of the Amazon will have severe consequences not only on human life but also on many of the ecosystems and biodiversities of the planet. The destruction of the rain forest might result in the gradual disappearance of many living organs. Provided that we cannot estimate how long it would take for the full or partial recovery of the Amazonia should it be completely destroyed, we might lose many of the valuable plants and animal species that reside in the forest. More importantly, the fires and the destruction of the tree canopy results in the large scale emission of CO2, which is a nefarious greenhouse gas (Source). This will make us helpless against the rapidly increasing global warming; it is bad enough that we ourselves are generating more than enough greenhouse gases.
The destruction of the amazon particular affects human health as well. WWF notes that “Climate change and extreme weather events, such as floods, may lead to increased outbreaks of vector-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue, and increased outbreaks of infectious diseases such as cholera and meningitis.” (Source)
So what can we do to save the Amazonia?
Under such circumstances, it is crucial that we do everything in our power to save the Amazon rainforest. Luckily, all hope is not lost; we can still save the mighty Amazonia. However, we should act fast and rationally. Governments should put aside their domestic individualized agendas and should come together to respond to this global crisis; they should take necessary steps to ensure the protection of the forest and to clasp down on deforestation. And of course, as The Conversation suggests, climate change should be addressed, “to prevent droughts from getting worse and increasing the risk of more fires.” (Source)
This video will tell you everything else you need to know about the Amazon blazes.
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