How to Help the Amazon Rainforest
Here’s how to help the Amazon Rainforest seven different ways. Taking a stance on this serious environmental problem will help preserve one of the world’s richest natural resources.
2020 kinda sucks. We’re all in agreement, right? As if the pandemic, unemployment, police brutality and climate change weren’t enough, the Amazon rainforest continues to burn.
Why the Amazon Rainforest Matters
The Amazon Rainforest is the largest rainforest in the world. It contains 60 percent of the world’s remaining rainforests. One in ten species on earth are found there, and its ecosystem stabilizes the earth’s climate.
Brazil contains two-thirds of the Amazonian Rainforest. Since the start of 2019, when Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro came to power, 8,000 square miles of rainforest have been cleared. That’s an area the size of Massachusetts. And the pace of deforestation hasn’t been this high in 14 years.
Though the rainforest’s trees absorb and store carbon in their trunks and leaves, the rainforest may soon pass a tipping point, making it a carbon emissions producer, according to the Climate Reality Project. With a total loss of 20-25 percent, the changes in the soil and increases in forest fires mean the rainforest could soon emit more carbon than it stores. So far, 17 percent of the Amazonian rainforest has already been destroyed.
Scientists also point out that deforestation can lead to more pandemics as it pushes wildlife into closer contact with humans.
Brazil’s indigenous people, who guard the rainforest, are directly suffering from the murders and abuses of illegal farmers. Air pollution from the forest fire smoke creates health problems for the rest of the Brazilian population, too, including the wildlife. .
Animals of the Amazon Rainforest
While this list from WWF represents a mere sliver of the 40,000 species found in the Amazon Rainforest, it gives us a quick glimpse into the faces, furs and feathers found there.
Amazon River Dolphin
These dolphins only live in freshwater and their habitats are threatened by dams and water pollution.
Apart from their colorful feathers, they’re not that different from us: they’re intelligent, live up to 60 years old and choose lifelong partners.
Wait, cats that love to swim? Jaguars love the river and its banks. These large six foot long cats travel across a large range in the forest, so habitat loss from deforestation is a serious threat to them.
Black Spider Monkeys
Using their strong, nimble tails to hang from tree branches and grab fruit. They also swing with their long arms to travel.
Poison Dart Frogs
Neon-colored and deadly, these amphibians sport a wide range of colors and patterns.
It’s hard to sit back and read about deforestation and habitat loss for these animals. Taking action is the best way to avoid feeling sadness, frustration or defeat.
7 ways to help the Amazon Rainforest
- Support frontline indigenous rainforest guardians at Amazon Watch by donation
- Protect an Acre by the Rainforest Action Network through a donation
- Buy land to conserve through Rainforest Trust
- Vote for elected officials that care about global biodiversity conservation, climate change and indigenous people’s rights. Use the League of Conservation Voters platform to learn about your state’s Congress representatives.
- Sign petitions from environmental organizations with a history of impact like this one from Greenpeace: Save the Rainforest.
- Shop ethically by searching for the Rainforest Alliance certification label, especially for products like paper and beef that have direct links to rainforest deforestation.
- Share this blog post and get others involved in taking action.
Thanks for reading and let us know how you helped the rainforest!
Before you leave, check out these clothing tips for sustainability-minded shoppers:
- What to wear to a protest: literally anything sold by Goodfair.
- What to wear when you vote: literally anything sold by Goodfair.
- What to wear to sign an online petition: not pants, but anything else sold by Goodfair.
Article written by Erica Eller