Forests are the world’s air conditioning system- the lungs of the planet- and we are on the verge of switching it off. - PRINCE CHARLES
The above quote by Prince Charles reflects upon the condition of our forests today, that is purely and undoubtedly the results of human activities and human interference with the biodiversity. We interfere, we destroy and we neglect and finally to pour cream over the mess, we pretend to mourn.
A fairly similar situation, which all of us witnessed by now, is that of the world’s largest rainforests - the Amazon Rainforests (also called the Amazonia), which is stretched across Latin America but mostly settled in the state of Brazil. The Amazon Rainforest is a luscious green rainforests which is struggling with a period of crisis. A crisis, which is not only affecting the lungs of the earth but is also severely impacting the indigenous population of Amazonia and the ecology, citizenry population and geopolitics across the globe. The Amazon wildfires has spurred environmental concerns worldwide and has raged the call from numerous ecologist and environmentalist, condemning the Brazilian government for not taking serious steps to control the loss.
Talking about the intensity, as witnessed by most of us, the fires are so ravaging and destructive that the smoke clouds could be seen even from space. This statement clearly explains the severity of the situation.
Amazon rainforests is a home to a vast number of tribes which are now indigenous to the region and are in entirety, dependent upon the forests for making their living. Apart from the basic amenities of food, water and shelter, the rainforest is hub of diverse medicinal herbs and plants which are lifelines of these indigenous tribes. However, the fire is turning out to be an epidemic to these tribes with as nearly as half of the species of these medicinal herbs got burnt in the wildfires. According to some indigenous locals, the government is doing the least for overcoming through this phase of crisis and turmoil. As per them, minimum efforts have been put in by the government agencies for safeguarding the forests and the indigenous. The indigenous population is struggling with the raging fires and is putting great efforts to reduce its intensity. A group of 30 indigenous firemen has undertaken the task of shutting the fires at night as it is difficult to control them in the day because the winds only make the matters worse and makes it difficult to enter the region.
Though it is not the first time that the forests have witnessed any fires but this one is different from the others. Earlier, usually, the fire used to get lit in a few patches and used to die down after a few days. But the 2019 wildfires, that first spurred in August are getting totally out of control. Though the wires were not immediate. According to the National Institute Of Space Research, nearly 16000 fires broke out in January 2019 which steadily culminated into the August wildfires. It’s been over a month since the forests are burning. Leaders and environmentalists, not just from Brazil but worldwide has condemned the 38th and current Brazilian President, Jair Bolsonaro, for practicing anti-environment rhetoric and politics of denial. Bolsonaro, however, has thrown the blame upon the farmers and indigenous saying that the fire lit by farmers for burning the leftover crops of lit by indigenous for clearing the land patches is actually the reason behind the crisis.
Another twist in the situation has arrived with the commencement of the G-7 Summit that held in France between 24th and 26th August 2019, wherein the French President Emmanuel Macron has declared that the G-7 will release US $22 million as a relief for the Amazonia region and has even called out for a discussion to take place upon the amazon fires in the upcoming meeting of the Summit in September. Amid G-7 leaders outcry and economies silence, geopolitics over burning ashes of Amazon has taken more complex turns for Brazil. The French leadership action is looked upon by some as playing politics of colonialism and domination by possessing control over Brazilian problems and depicting the world not just the failure of Brazilian government but also an action by Macron to improve his position in the eyes of environmentalist, depicting his stand a pro - environment agenda in favour of Amazon and indigenous Brazilians. Therefore, Bolsonaro has refused to seek the French aid for dealing with the Amazon wildfires, an attempt, seen by many to safeguard his position and his state from foreign domination.
However, in the light of this blame game and the political drama and strife, what actually is suffering is our environment, our biodiversity, our planet and in certain ways, every individual is responsible for this. What is happening in Amazonia today, can be reality in California, India or Australia tomorrow as these nation states too, witness wildfires in their forests, which results in massive loss not just to biodiversity and ecology but also to the citizenry surrounding these areas and the nation’s economy, which consequently deteriorates and depletes the growth and progress of the society and country as a whole.
Since our childhood, we have been taught to save tree, save the environment, respect environment, environment is life and phrases similar to these ones. It is actually beyond high time, that not just the environmentalist, but individuals across borders should step out of their boundaries and join hands for putting a ban on deterioration of environment by mena sof human activities. Lets together put a ban our practices that are taking our precious environment away from us. Its time to think beyond putting instagram stories and updating tweets; its high time to take actions apart from putting a black dot on twitter and facebook feeds. It’s time to take charge for a better today and an improved tomorrow. These things might sound cliche but this is what reality actually looks like - a little cliche, a little harsh but absolutely real and authentic. And the reality is that our lungs are burning and we need to take small steps on individual basis if we actually want to see our future generations surviving in the world.
image source:- reuters.com
image source:- bbc.com
image source:- news.sky.com
image source:- reuters.com