If you have been reading the news this month, you’ll be aware of some of the distressing stories about the Amazon Rainforest and threats to its continued existence. Our student ambassador Manuela from Colombia felt compelled to share her thoughts and has produced this spectacular blogpost that deserves your attention. Aside from its thoughtfulness and insight, it is also a fantastic example of authentic ESL writing which we are proud to help our students develop as part of their English classes in Washington DC. The floor is yours, Manuela:
Should we be worried about our Amazon rainforest?
The Amazon is a vast region across eight rapidly developing countries in northern South America. It is home to 1 million indigenous people and 3 millions plants and animals species. Most of them are still undescribed and others are the world´s most unusual wildlife. The Amazon is considered the lungs of the Earth and for years it has been threatened by logging, mining, agriculture, roadbuilding, oil, and gas drilling.
The Brazilian Amazon has been burning for more than two weeks straight but only a few days ago the media broke the news. According to National Geographic the blazes are so huge that smoke can be seen from space, and experts say the fires could have major climate impacts. Conservationists have blame the president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, for the Amazon’s plight and scientist assure that the rainforest has suffered losses at an accelerated rate since he took office in January thanks to his pro-business environmental policies.
Like the wildfires that we had seen before, most are started by humans because burning is commonly used to clear trees quickly but then thanks to the winds and the drought of the soil, this spiral out of control. More than two weeks have passed and the fire hasn´t gone out, few people have information about what is happening and Mr. Bolsonaro only blames the NGO´s and as the forest diminishes, so does its ability to serve as a massive carbon warehouse for the world.
So, what can we do to reduce the impact of this the planet? Some people think that the world is too big to do something because maybe it´s not going to work but the truth is little actions speak for itself. You can start in your home with your family, your closest friends. Here there is a list of actions that you can work on it.
- Be aware about the environmental policies of your country and according to that choose good leaders.
It is our responsibility as a community to have knowledge about the policies and proposals that our leaders and future leaders have for the environmental of our countries. This is one of the most important action that we do have to take in consideration since those policies allows business people to do whatever they want with our water, rainforests and even our wildlife. This is an example of what is happening today in The Amazon, where big companies who want to clear land for business prospects are cutting down portions of the forest, leaving them out to dry and setting them on fire. With the trees out of the way, they have room to grow crops or raise cattle. This practices are illegal but it hasn’t being monitored by Brazil’s government. Something really sad but realistic is that not only there this is happening, around the world you see different practices like this one or maybe worst.
Being aware of our environmental policies and how our governments are taking care of our natural resources is really important! Keeping it in mind.
Our daily life demands certain kind of choices like the way we commute from one place to another. If you are planning to give our planet one hand I recommend you leave your car at home and instead walk, ride your bike or take local mass transportation. If you drive somewhere regularly, start carpool. This helps to significantly reduce the consumption of oil and gas which is one of the primary cause of climate change.
Over 70% of the Earth original old-growth forests have already been logged and there are many things that we should do to help to prevent that. In my opinion, I am going to mention the two most important thing that we ought to reduce in our daily.
– Paper and wood: As I mention before big companies cut down some of the most endangered forests on the planet to make wood and paper products. So we should start by buying recycle office paper, phone books, notebooks, etc. Furthermore use both sides of each piece of paper is a good idea either and also use cloths napkins and towels.
– Plastic: Instead of using plastic bags, buy your own cloth bags at the grocery store. Avoid using disposable plates and cups for your drinks, in fact there are many stores where give you a discount in your drink if you have your own cup. However it is also important to get bamboo or metal straws and get them wherever you go. There are many options instead of using plastic, you should to more research.
- Support your locals NGO´s
The objective of these organizations is to ensure the common good in any specific area. For this, young professionals and experts gather hundreds of investigations and years of study. The key of their job is that they work together with local communities like indigenous people. When you donate time or money to these organization they can invest this in incredible actions. One example of this is the burning of the Amazon Rainforest where donations are using for help these communities and also to contribute to put out the jungle fire.
In conclusion, people should make a deep reflection about our life in this planet and understand that we don’t drift away the nature we live by and for it.