Ways You Can Help the Burning Amazon Rainforest
The Rainforest Action Network (RAN) recently shared a couple different ways bystanders can help the Amazon Rainforest that is ablaze. The options include supporting both environmental and indigenous communities.
Over the last few days, the world has watched in horror as headline after headline describes the ever-burning state of the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil. While many are able to read about the various factors that potentially contributed to the disaster, not many know how to help.
Many accounts outline some of the main contributors to the crisis: Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro and his environmental policies, agricultural laborers’ legal and illegal land-clearing, and Brazil’s indigenous communities and their fight for their protected land. Much of the Rainforest is part of Brazil’s indigenous lands, and many indigenous communities do not have the financial means to fight these fires.
The Rainforest Action Network “preserves forests, protects the climate and upholds human rights by challenging corporate power systemic injustice through frontline partnerships and strategic campaigns.” When recent headlines about the fires in the Amazon— “the Earth’s lungs” and source of 20% of the atmosphere’s oxygen—, the network reacted with action.
People can help the Amazon by supporting environmental and indigenous organizations like Amazon Watch and RAN’s Protect-an-Acre Program (PAA). These groups in particular have the means to affect hands-on change when many others around the world cannot.
Amazon Watch is a nonprofit organization with a long history of protecting forests – particularly by supporting indigenous peoples (like those in Brazil). RAN’s PAA has distributed more than one million dollars in grants to more than 150 frontline communities, Indigenous-led organizations, and allies in an effort to save and restore millions of acres of forest territory around the world.
RAN says, “Supporting the land rights of Indigenous Peoples is the most effective method of protecting the rainforests, and our PAA program gives you the opportunity to give directly to the frontline communities fighting to stop this destruction.”
RAN says it has also been sending resources directly to Indigenous organizations fighting against Bolsonaro and his administration through a small grants program. You can also sign a petition to push the investment firm BlackRock to stop its plans to develop in the Amazon.
Read more in depth about what you can do to affect change in the wake of this immediate, global crisis.