Immense fires have been scorching through Brazil’s Amazon rainforest over the last two weeks. The fires – which are thought to have been started by loggers and cattle ranchers – could result in a serious problem for the environment and ultimately the planet’s ecosystem.
An increasing amount of well-known celebrity figures have been using their fame to highlight this critical issue. A lot of whom are insisting that Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro should take responsibility for his support of the exploitation of the rainforest, but Bolsonaro claims that he shouldn’t be held accountable.
Celebrities put their popularity to use in a call for change
American singer, songwriter, and actress, Madonna, tweeted, “The Fires Are Raging and The Amazonia continues to burn… This is a devastation to Brazil – to the indigenous people who live there and the plant and animal species that make this the most important bio-diverse Forest!!! President Bolsonaro, please change your policies and help not only your country, but the entire planet. No economic development is more important than protecting this land. We need to WAKE UP!! The future of the rainforest affects the future of the world!”
Celebrities are also requesting that their fans do their part to combat the climate crisis as well. American actor and environmentalist, Leonardo DiCaprio, asked his followers on Instagram to donate to the front line Amazon groups, and to vote for leaders who see the climate crisis as a priority issue.
“The lungs of the Earth are in flames,” tweeted DiCaprio. “The Brazilian Amazon – home to 1 million Indigenous people and 3 million species – has been burning for more than two weeks straight. There have been 74,000 fires in the Brazilian Amazon since the beginning of this year – a staggering 84% increase over the same period last year (National Institute for Space Research, Brazil). Scientists and conservationists attribute the accelerating deforestation to President Jair Bolsonaro, who issued an open invitation to loggers and farmers to clear the land after taking office in January. The largest rainforest in the world is a critical piece of the global climate solution. Without the Amazon, we cannot keep the Earth’s warming in check. “
DiCaprio went on to list several ways in which a concerned individual could help the situation, saying, “The Amazon needs more than our prayers. So what can YOU do? As an emergency response, donate to frontline Amazon groups working to defend the forest. Consider becoming a regular supporter of the Rainforest Alliance’s community forestry initiatives across the world’s most vulnerable tropical forests, including the Amazon; this approach is by far the most effective defense against deforestation and natural forest fires, but it requires deep, long-term collaboration between the communities and the public and private sectors. Stay on top of this story and keep sharing posts, tagging news agencies and influencers. Be a conscious consumer, taking care to support companies committed to responsible supply chains. Eliminate or reduce consumption of beef; cattle ranching is one of the primary drivers of Amazon deforestation.
When election time comes, VOTE for leaders who understand the urgency of our climate crisis and are willing to take bold action – including strong governance and forward-thinking policy.”
Numerous other celebrities have also been doing their part to put the spotlight on this dire situation, such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Miguel Jontel Pimentel, Bobby Berk, Camila Cabello, and Noah Cyrus.