Amazon , ­and humanity, in flames Part of an ongoing series by the Indigenous student association

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Photo by: Steve Conors for the independent

The Amazon is the world’s largest tropical rainforest and is home to the Indigenous Brazilian people(s).

I decided to write this piece to reflect on the devastating wildfires that are currently wounding our Mother Earth in South America.

This has been the most damaging wildfire year since 2010 for the Amazon rainforest.

A few weeks ago on my social media, there was an uproar about the Amazon rainforest being on fire.

There were go-fund me pages, retweets for donations, and celebrities were urged to raise awareness.

However, all of this hype lasted for about three days.

Not many people are writing about it anymore, it is out of sight and out of mind, I suppose.

However, the Amazon rainforest is still on fire and it is still negatively affecting the Indigenous communities.

Ninety-eight percent of Indigenous reserves are in the Amazon.

According to The Guardian, fires broke out in 131 Indigenous reserves from August 15-20.

Of those, 15 were home to Indigenous groups who are isolated or in stages of initial contact.

These groups rely on the rainforest to survive, and it is crucial that there is international support to uphold the rights and livelihood of these people.

Wildfires in the Amazon are not uncommon, but the way in which they are spreading is reason for concern.

They are mostly man-made and deliberate.

In mainstream media coverage, there is evidence that shows that the increase in wildfires is politically driven. 

Bolsonaro is now the president of Brazil and the spike in fires is directly related to his plans to clear out the Amazon to facilitate resource extraction, farming, and ranching. 

In Quartz, it was reported that farmers and supporters of Bolsonaro helped start these fires to put forth his agenda to benefit Brazil’s economy.

It was in January that he rolled into office, and according to Global News, one of his promises was to restore the country’s economy by finding other uses for the Amazon rainforest.

Not only that, but Bolsonaro also vowed that if he were elected, he would not set aside a single centimeter more for Indigenous reserves.

 Many refer to the Amazon as, “the lungs of the planet” and it is extremely important for not just Indigenous people, but for all people.

It would only make sense for all of us to be on the front line.

We need to do everything that we can to support the Indigenous peoples of the Amazon. 

We need to be international supporters of combatting the fire crisis in the Amazon rainforest.

I came across some suggestions that seem easy to put into play such as reduce wood, paper and beef consumption. 

However, it was stated that the most important actions you can take are political and collective—join a group that makes the Amazon a priority. Donate to Rainforest Action Network, Rainforest Trust, Amazon Watch, Amazon conservation team, or sign petitions.

At this time, we need to stand together to support our Indigenous brothers and sisters of the Amazon in Brazil. 

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