Update: Message from Jana Bell, President of Amazon Rainforest Conservancy (ARC), on the Amazon Fires, Monday August 26, 2019
As the Amazon fires continue to rage, many people have reached out to ARC asking, “What can I do?” The bad news is we can’t easily stop the fires. We need Mother Nature to provide much-needed rain to bring things under control. Political pressure from around the world will impel President Bolsonaro to allow fire-fighting crews to tackle at least some of the remaining fires.
In dark times, I always look for something positive. In this case, the inherent good in most of us has come shining through. We really do care about nature and feel responsible to preserve the world’s flora and fauna for future generations.
I am heartened by the number of people raising awareness of this situation. But we must remember this is not an isolated event: these fires are a symptom of systemic government policies and corporate policies that don’t take environmental protection into account as more and more rainforest lands are turned over to things like soy bean production (most of which feeds animals in the bloated global industrial meat business).
The Amazon rainforest plays a key role in the basic functioning of the planet; prevention of its deforestation is a simple and effective way to mitigate climate change.
Please join us in working to right these wrongs and prevent the spread of this to any other part of the Amazon. The past few days many of you did. With gratitude I thank the 568 people who made donations. Your support propels me to work harder every day.
These fires may represent a tipping point in world opinion, and could inspire serious and lasting change from governments and corporations. With up to three football fields per minute being logged or otherwise destroyed, we need to take action to protect the Amazon while there’s still time.
ARC Responds to the Amazon Fires
All of us who volunteer with the Amazon Rainforest Conservancy (ARC) are appalled by the unfolding catastrophe in Brazil as unsustainable “slash and burn” farming practices (combined with a drought) have led to fires so vast the smoke has blotted out the sun recently in cities there.
We cannot locate an organization for people to support that might help control these fires, but in any case Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro might not allow an intervention as these fires are the direct result of his government’s policies, which have opened up the rainforest for commercial exploitation and are rolling back decades of conservation work and progress.
The lands currently protected by the Amazon Rainforest Conservancy are in Peru, near the border with Brazil and Bolivia, and are therefore away from the current network of deliberately-set fires. However, we’re keeping a close eye on the situation and if any such fires reach our protected forest, we will fight them and would replant. These sad events only strengthen our resolve to save even more of the Amazon rainforest.
ARC currently cares for just over 1,400 hectares (about 3,500 aces) of pristine forest and is raising funds to expand this land-holding. We’ve spoken with three direct neighbours who are willing to sell their land to ARC. (See map below of our proposed expansion.) We may not be able to directly stop these fires but we can increase the land in our care and ensure slash-and-burn farming doesn’t occur in our corner of the Amazon.
Jana Bell – President and founder of ARC was interviewed yesterday for a short segment on the Amazon fires in Brazil for CBC’s flagship news program The National. (See link to the video below.) We are also in conversation with some of Canada’s top environmental consultants who are interested in helping ARC attain its goals and get us in front of more boards and organizations. We feel energized, despite the bad news about the fires and the criminal polices of the Bolsonaro government.
ARC welcomes donations for which it can offer receipts to Canadians. Your help is urgently needed to aid conservation efforts in the Amazon rainforest.