The Rainforest Alliance (RA) has issued an urgent response to what it describes as ‘the horrific surge of forest fires in the Brazilian Amazon’.
In a statement, the organization, which works closely with allies in business, agriculture and forests, said it is mobilizing its broad network of partners “to fight the ongoing destruction of this precious ecosystem”.
It has already pledged to redirect 100% of the funds donated in response to its social media alert to frontline groups in the Brazilian Amazon, including the Brazil chapter of its indigenous federation partner COICA and its longtime sustainable agriculture partner IMAFLORA; as well as the Instituto Socioambiental and Imazon, both Brazilian NGOs working to defend the Amazon and advance indigenous rights.
“Following an increase in fires this year, caused in part by farmers clearing land to expand agriculture, with flames and smoke captured on both NASA and NOAA satellites from space, it is clear the world must stand together to stop ongoing threats to the Amazon, which is vital to the world’s climate stability,” the RA said.
“We are working with our partners in Brazil and around the world to pressure the Brazilian government to conserve the Amazon in a way that supports people and nature. Regulations on deforestation in Brazil must remain in place and must be enforced.”
Leaders of the G7 countries at the weekend summit in the French city of Biarritz had agreed to an immediate $20m aid package to help Amazon countries fight wildfires and launch a longer-term global initiative to protect the rainforest. The Brazilian government then rejected the help after a diplomatic row between French president Emmanuel Macron and Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro.
Henriette Walz, Deforestation Lead for the Rainforest Alliance, said: “The fires in the Amazon are the result of complicated political, financial and social factors. We need continued collaborative effort from governments, companies and consumers to send a message. We know the links between climate change, deforestation and human welfare are there. We need to keep moving towards a more sustainable agriculture and land management system and reap the many benefits such a system would provide.”