By Momoka Yamamoto | Feature Writer
Vol. XCIII No. 7
Sept. 27, 2019
Recently, news about the burning Amazon rainforest spread across different media outlets. Wildfires are uncontrollable fires that engulfs hectares of combustible vegetation. It can be caused by different factors, anthropogenic and abiotic. The Amazon rainforest was reported to have been burning for almost six weeks, but the Brazilian government neglected this problem (allegedly) for the growth of their own country. However, after receiving criticism, President Jair Bolsonaro finally sent troops to quell the fire.
The Amazon wildfire prompted seven South American countries to sign a forest protection pact. Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, and Suriname agreed to put a centralized disaster response network and satellite monitoring to prevent similar tragedy to happen again. After all, the Amazon rainforest plays an important role in slowing the pace of global warming, an environmental crisis that our planet is facing right now.
Wildfire is not only exclusive in the Amazon. It has been happening around the world. Indonesia, a neighboring country of the Philippines also faces the same problem. In fact, the smoke (haze) that is being generated by its wildfire has reached its neighboring countries including Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, and the Philippines. To sum it all, the occurrence of wildfires this year increased by 84% compared to last year.
However, it doesn’t matter if rainforests (like Amazon) are not the ‘lungs of the earth’. If these forests keep on burning, its emissions will affect the health of every living organism, making this planet less livable. If there are no countermeasures done to prevent or stop this tragedy, the earth will face a series of species extinction.