There's currently a man-made fire raging through the Amazon rain forest - and it's burning down trees at the fastest rate ever recorded. The smoke is reaching cities thousands of miles away with no end to the destruction in sight. Here's what ordinary people can do to help.
Each year, Brazilian farmers use fire to clear land in the Amazon during August — but the hot, dry conditions have caused the fires to spread much further and faster than normal. The fires have created a layer of smoke estimated to be 1.2 million square miles wide - and it's still growing. (You can see a literal heat map of the fires on InfoAmazonia.)
This is extremely bad for a swathe of reasons, ranging from the extinction of native animals to worsening global climate. So what can Aussies do to help?
Donate to Amazon charities
The following six charities are all working to help save the Amazon rain forest. Crucially, they have all received a big tick from Charity Navigator, a nonprofit that rates charities on their accountability and financial management.
Here are links:
- Amazon Conservation Association
- Amazon Conservation Team
- Amazon Watch
- Rainforest Foundation US
- Rainforest Trust
- Rainforest Action Network
In addition to donating money, you may also be able to provide non-financial assistance. As Business Insider notes, the above charities can, and do, make a difference so contact them and ask what you can do to help.
In the meantime, you can raise plenty of awareness via popular internet forums and social media services - the more people who are talking about this issue, the better. To amplify your voice, use the trending hashtags #PrayforAmazonia and #AmazonRainforest.
[Via Business Insider]