Over the past week, we have watched the worlds largest tropical forest go up in flames. Hundreds of thousands of trees have turned to ash, and with them, millions of tons of carbon released into the atmosphere. WildArk and our friends at SIPP Instant have teamed up to donate $10,000 to the Earth Alliance Amazon Forest Fund, an organisation we believe to be one of the most trustworthy and transparent non-profits working in this space.
What is the emergency? Seventy-four thousand fires have been burning in the Amazon region since January, an 84% increase since 2018.
Why is the Amazon important? The Amazon is home to 40,000 species of plants, 3,000 species of fish, and more than 1,000 species of birds. It plays a critical role in regulating our climate and is a sanctuary for endangered species, and a refuge for indigenous people.
How does it affect climate? Those mighty trees of the Amazon, play an important role in absorption, evaporation, and condensation creating a water cycle that keeps the wettest rainforest, wet and Brazil’s rivers, lakes and reservoirs full.
Why is it on fire? The Amazon seldom burns by itself. Farmers and illegal loggers are using slash and burn techniques to clear land across large areas. Illegal loggers have destroyed 344,500 hectares since January! Every year there is a dry season, but with increased deforestation, the dry seasons are becoming longer, making areas more susceptible to fire.
What does this mean for us? Deforestation could reach a tipping point if it reaches 20 – 25 percent, at which point large swaths of the forest could transform into savanna. With about a decade of greenhouse gasses stored in the Amazon, losing the forest could significantly contribute to global warming.
What is Earth Alliance? Earth Alliance is a new organisation founded by award-winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio, businesswoman and philanthropist Laurene Powell Jobs and investor and philanthropist Brian Sheth. They have formed an emergency Amazon Forest Fund to focus critical resources on the protections needed to maintain this region. Funds will go directly to local partners and indigenous communities protecting the Amazon and its wildlife.