Brazil's forests are on fire again. Here's how you can help



Fátima is Ecosia's Video Editorial Lead. She thinks in many Sprachen.

Last year, Brazil lost about 310,000 acres of biodiverse forest land. In the Amazon rainforest, fires increased by an unprecedented 83% compared to the same period in 2018.

In 2020, we’re on the same tragic track.

July saw a 30% increase in fires from the same period in 2019 and August has seen over 10,000 fires ravage the Amazon forest.

About 17% of Amazonia has already been deforested. Scientists estimate that, if we reach a peak of 20-25%, more than half of the Amazon rainforest could turn into a savannah — a flat, dry, almost treeless area, endangering 15% of the world’s biodiversity.

But it’s not just the Amazon that is going up in smoke.

Our tree-planting partners working across the Atlantic Rainforest, located on Brazil’s coast, have seen human-made fires increase ever since Jair Bolsonaro came into power.

With top-down messaging that forests matter less than economic growth, many farmers across the country are not making any effort to stop deliberately set fires from spreading to nearby forest land.

Given this context, devastating fires in the Amazon this year were no surprise.

How your searches on Ecosia are helping the Brazilian forest

Thanks to an increase in users following the devastating fire season of 2019, we were able to finance an additional 3 million trees in Brazil’s Atlantic rainforest. Of those trees, 1.7 million have already been planted. The remaining trees will be planted at the end of this year with some delay, due to the COVID-19 lockdown measures.

Ecosia also invested €318,712 in firefighting, which has helped save an estimated 3 million trees since mid 2018.

In Brazil, your searches have helped protect about 3 million trees through firefighting activities.

How you can further help protect Brazil’s forests

Here is how you can further help protect and restore Brazil’s forests:

  • Raise awareness about the fires and the importance of forests in sustaining animal, plant and human life.
  • Download the Ecosia app and inspire others to do the same. In the absence of centralised political support, help us financially support our partners’ firefighting and restoration activities.
  • If you have the means, support local NGOs protecting Brazilian forest and indigenous groups.

True change will only come from a systemic shift

Finally, wherever you come from, hold your politicians accountable.

The European Union and the USA are Brazil’s biggest buyers of meat, wood and soy products. Demand that your leaders use this bargaining power to only import products respectful of people and nature.

But perhaps the most urgent, systemic pressure we can hope to exert right now is by campaigning against the signing of the EU-Mercosur trade agreement.

This agreement between the EU and six Latin American countries, including Brazil, would significantly lower tariffs of beef, soy and wood. In its current form, with no restrictions regarding the source of those products, this agreement would fuel the destruction of the Amazon.

For additional action, and if you have the means to do so, consider donating to any of these NGOs to help protect the Amazon forest and support indigenous groups — the guardians of the world’s remaining rainforests:

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