Concerned about Coronavirus? Click here.

What you can do to help the Amazon Rainforest

by juliette capomolla

 

The first question you might ask is – how is the Amazon related to Challenges Abroad Australia?

 

As a part of our environment volunteering programs, we run the Amazon Sustainability Challenge in Peru. The first week of this challenge involves our volunteers going into the Amazon and learning about the different ecosystems that exists there and the various conservation efforts in place. Following this, our volunteers spend their second week in the Sacred Valley helping teach locals about the sustainable practices that are best suited for their area. Ensuring the protection of the natural environment in Peru is a really important part of this challenge!

 

You’ve probably heard a lot by now about the wildfires running rampant in the Amazon rainforest. Celebrities like Ronaldo, Leonardo DiCaprio, and French President Emmanuel Macron have all posted photos of the Amazon in flames to encourage awareness of the devastation. The world has become aware of this problem and are now trying to fight it.

 

Deforestation and land clearing are a prominent reason why these fires are happening. Whilst they are a regular occurrence in the Amazon, they have been heightened by increased deforestation recently, particularly in Brazil.   

 

The Amazon is often referred to as the lungs of the Earth. It produces so much oxygen, and without it, a lot more carbon dioxide would exist in the atmosphere. This is why the world is in uproar – the Amazon’s importance to our world cannot be underestimated.

 

Whilst media attention of these wildfires has largely been around Brazil, neighbouring country Peru is being impacted as well:

  • Fun fact #1: About 60% of Peru is made up by the Amazon. This is the largest of any country.
  • Fun fact #2: About 13% of the Amazon is in Peru. Peru is the second country, behind Brazil, in terms of their share of the Amazon.

 

The Amazon rainforest is an asset which is imperative to Peru’s landscape and character. Whilst the wildfires have been most prominent in Brazil, Peru has not gone unaffected.

 

Many wildfires have also spurred in Peru’s part of the Amazon which has led to the destruction of the ecosystem. It disrupts food chains in the area, removes habitats, releases more carbon dioxide and takes away chunks of an oxygen supplier in the world. Not only this, but smoke from the fires has spread into Brazil and is covering cities.

 

Currently, the Amazon is a pivotal daily asset for Peruvians. They feed off of it, create an income from it and live in it. This is an asset which they cannot afford to lose.

 

So what can you do?

Many people feel empowered to make change when they see these atrocities in the world. But often, the biggest issue is – how can I, as one person of seven billion, make change? Often, a post on Instagram is the best we feel we can do.

 

Well, the answer is small but extremely important. Taking part in our Amazon sustainability challenge is a little way that you can encourage more sustainable practices in Amazonian areas to help preserve the rainforest. Whilst it might feel small, it is these slow but sure changes that we think are extremely effective. Change does not happen overnight, but our volunteers are helping to encourage more eco-friendly practices over time.

 

On this challenge you will work at stations in the Amazon like Villa Carmen Biological Station who work contribute to the understanding and protection of the greater Manu landscape. These local stations are an asset to our challenge which we think provide an amazing local knowledge. This sort of local knowledge, which is only gained from living and breathing in the Amazon, is what helps to encourage conservation.  

 

Often, we let big and scary things stop us from acting. But this shouldn’t be the case when you have a great ability to partake in activism and conservation. Part of saving the Amazon is not only preventing deforestation but encouraging reforestation. You can help promote this by partaking in our challenge and educating the locals about native flora and fauna.

 

This is current, and it is happening now. Now, more than ever, it is all important to get involved in conservation and volunteering. The lungs of the Earth are currently in flames and you could help by physically going there and volunteering. You can truly make an impact on our Amazon Sustainability Challenge.

 

If you’re feeling inspired to come volunteer abroad with us, our next Amazon Sustainability Challenge runs from 16th November until the 30th November. Find out more information and alternative dates here.