In the past weeks, I have listened to several people talk about the Amazon fire which has been raging on for a while but surprisingly many of my peers could care less.
The Amazon which is the world’s largest rainforest covering about 2,700,000 sq mi has had 70,000 fires detected since January and that’s 84% higher than it was last year according to the Brazil National Institute for Space Research.
It is believed to consume about 2 billion tons of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere making it vital in the fight against climate change.
Seeing the footage of it burning, only sent chills down my spine as I thought about the biodiversity loss. It’s the most diverse ecosystem on land and further distraction to it will leave several animals and people homeless.
Without this vast forest, global warming would be expedited and the effects will be felt not just in Brazil or South America but across the whole world. The weather patterns would change, there would be more frequency of wildfires, heat waves, drought and diseases among others.
According to Nasa, the Amazon isn’t the only place on fire, there are several forests in Congo and Angola which are also on fire. However, some fires are believed to have been started by human activity in order to clear land for agriculture.
In Uganda, the forest cover is believed to have dropped from 64% in 1900 to about 9% in 2015 and this is mostly because of deforestation and without committed efforts to counter this, it will only get worse.
Reforestation and mass awareness campaigns can help to conserve and protect the “lungs of the earth.” We can also pick a leaf (insert forest) from Ethiopia which recently planted 350 million trees in one day to tackle climate change.
Since most trees are cut down for charcoal, using an improved cookstove can go a long way in reducing the amount of charcoal a household uses and thus not only saving them money but also reducing their carbon footprint.
Everyone has the power to make a difference and “if you think you’re too small to make a difference you haven’t spent a night with a mosquito.”
The future of the planet lies in our hands and we should try our very best to conserve it because the immediate benefits of our actions can never outweigh the longterm costs.