Raging Fires in the Amazon – Climate Context
Wildfires in the Amazon jungle have increased by more than 80% over last year. It’s important to note here that wildfires are not a natural phenomenon in that rainforest – experts have agreed that these fires have largely been caused by landowners setting fire to the land to clear it for agriculture – to create both pasture for livestock and space to plant crops.
From a climate perspective, the widespread destruction of rainforest including the Amazon is highly detrimental. According to this article from The Globe and Mail, “the rainforest is one of the planet’s largest natural carbon sinks, absorbing about one billion tonnes of carbon dioxide every year. When it burns, that CO2 gets released back into the atmosphere, causing global temperatures to rise even further.”
The key to protecting rainforest from both a conservation and climate perspective is not treatment - it is prevention. In terms of action, we encourage the protection of intact rainforest in the Amazon. Junglekeepers is a great organization on the ground in the Peruvian Amazon working specifically to buy and protect contiguous tracts of rainforest – one of our own Brightspot Climate team members has personally worked with them.