WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?
The Amazon is BEAUTIFUL! And is teeming with LIFE; home to more plants and animals than any other place on earth. Lots of people live there too! 400-500 Indigenous tribes inhabit the Amazon. Their traditional and cultural beliefs have existed for centuries, providing lots of knowledge about the Amazonian forests. Then there are the trees! Did you know that there are 4 times more TREES in the Amazon than stars in the MILKY WAY? The great amassing of trees make their own rainfall, releasing approximately 20 billion TONS of moisture into the atmosphere daily, seeding the rain clouds that travel the earth. The Rivers also carry ONE FIFTH of the planets fresh water to sea. THAT’S A LOT OF WATER! Did you know that the trees and plants pull in toxic levels of carbon dioxide and release OXYGEN back into the atmosphere giving us 20% of the AIR that we breath? They say that the Amazon is the most important land system for reducing climate change, storing 11 years of global carbon emissions keeping the world COOLER. How COOL is that?
SO WHY SHOULD YOU CARE IF THE AMAZON GETS DESTROYED?
Today the Amazon is being deforested and threatened. It is now at the tipping point and the important natural things that the Amazon gives the world could one day be gone.
WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF THE AMAZON NO LONGER EXISTS?
Think about it.
What can you do?
Keep the trees standing, reforest, be a better consumer, share your Voice!
MORE REASONS TO CARE
1. The Amazon helps keep the earth cooler.
Carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere causes the world to heat up. The Amazon is one of the world’s most important natural buffers for keeping us cool with forests that cover 5.5 million acres. It is the largest tropical ecosystem on the planet and those trees store an immense amount of carbon in their leaves, trunks, roots. Not only does the Amazon store 1/6 of the world’s carbon, nearly 11 years of carbon emissions, but in a normal year the forests absorbs about 20% of the atmospheric carbon, and pulls in nearly 300 million tons more of the carbon than it release into the atmosphere.
- The Amazon rainforest serves as one of Earth’s largest reservoirs of carbon dioxide, helping regulate global climate patterns through the sequestration and storage of carbon dioxide in above-ground bio mass and soil.
- Human-induced climate change, if left unchecked, may soon cause the Amazon to emit more carbon into the atmosphere than it absorbs.
- As global temperatures rise, the Amazon could become caught in a potentially calamitous feedback loop. Warmer oceanic waters could continue to dry out the basin, which in turn will release more carbon into the atmosphere. Warmer temperatures and a dryer forest will also increase forest fires, emitting more carbon and driving the process.
Deforestation rates of the amazon has risen over the past years, with the estimated loss of 78 million acres yearly. 30% of all carbon emissions are from the burning of forests worldwide, which is more carbon released than from cars, trains and planes combined. With the current rate of deforestation, this natural defense against climate change is being threatened.
2. The Amazon regulates the local and global weather patterns.
Every day the Amazon releases approximately 20 billion tons of moisture into the atmosphere helping to seed the clouds with rain around the world. The Amazon needs approximately 80 percent of the trees standing to continue this water cycle.
- Water condensation, evaporation, and transpiration over the Amazon are key drivers of the global atmospheric circulation, affecting precipitation.
- “The Invisible River in the Sky”, carries more moisture in the atmosphere above the Amazon than waters in the Amazon Rivers.
- Deforestation of the Amazon has been linked to drought in California.
- 70% of Brazil’s GDP is produced in areas that receive rainfall or water from the Amazon.
The Amazon has approximately 81% of the trees standing, and with the current rate of destruction, we move closer to the tipping point for compromising the rainforest’s natural hydrological cycle. Deforestation of the Amazon causes drought, fires and desertification and could further the loss of the Amazon forests.
The Amazon rivers is the second longest river on earth after the Nile River, moves the largest volume of water, and carries 20% of the earth’s water to sea. The Amazon River flows through Guyana, Ecuador, Venezuela, Bolivia, Brazil, Columbia and Peru, and is over 4,000 miles long, covers 2,720,000 square miles and includes over 1,100 tributaries. The Rivers of the Amazon creates flooded habitats that are homes to 3000 types of fish and unique species including pink dolphins, the giant otter and piranhas. Indigenous and local peoples use the rivers as a means of transportation and a source of protein in in the form of fish.
- The length of the Amazon River is equivalent to the distance between New York City to Rome.
- The Amazon River flows from East to West and begins in the high Andes, at an elevation of 5,598 m.
- The Amazon river delivers approximately 55 million gallons of water onto the Atlantic Ocean every second.
- The brown waters of the Amazon River can be seen as far as 100 km out to sea from the mainland, well before the continent is in sight.
- Anacondas live in the shallow waters of the Amazon. They are one of the biggest snakes in the world and occasionally attack animals larger than themselves.
Deforestation causes the forests to dry out, threatening the rainfall patterns and the amount of water that flows through the rivers. There is little to no regulation from keeping man made pollutants and toxins from being released into the atmosphere. The new and growing threat of unregulated Artisanal and small scale gold mining ASGM releases approximately 100 tons of mercury into the atmosphere and waters yearly poisoning the peoples, rivers and lands.
4. People Live there.
Indigenous peoples inhabit a large portion of the Amazon rainforest and their traditional and cultural beliefs have existed for centuries, providing an immense amount of knowledge about the Amazonian forests.
- Of the indigenous groups that were known to exist in 1900, one-third of these groups are now extinct.
- There are 195 known languages spoken within the Amazon Basin.
- Of the 160 societies that live within the Amazon rainforest, nearly 50% have no contact with the outside world.
- The Amazon is the home to uncontacted Indians that have no metal.
- The number of indigenous people within Brazil was estimated to be over 6 million in the 15th century. Today there are roughly 310,000. Brazil is home to more uncontacted peoples than anywhere on the planet.
As the Amazon and the habitat becomes more threatened, so do the people that live there. With the external demands for the Amazon’s natural resources the people of the Amazon’s habitat is being destroyed, compromising their way of life, their food source and water. Toxic byproducts from deforestation, especially gold mining and the release of mercury, can poison the ecosystem and the peoples. More than three people were killed a week in 2015 defending their land, forests and rivers against destructive industries. 40% were indigenous.
5. There are more plants and animals in the Amazon than anyplace in the world.
The Amazon rainforest has the most biodiversity on Earth, home to over 30% of the world’s species. That includes nearly 1 million insects known to science in the Amazon basin, approximately 530 species of mammals, nearly 1,000 different reptiles and amphibians and more than 5,600 species of freshwater fish, an estimated 80,000 plant taxa, and an estimated 390 billion trees. By comparison, that’s more than twice the number of mammal species found in the United States and four times as many trees as there are stars in the Milky Way. The Amazon is so rich with life that over the past 10 years, a new species has been discovered on average every 3 days.
- The Hercules beetle, found in the Amazon, is the strongest creature on earth, capable of carrying 850 times its own body weight.
- In a 60 acre plot in the Amazon scientists found 1,104 different species of trees, just under what is found in Asia, Europe, and North America combined.
- Peru’s Manu national park contains at least 1,307 species of butterfly, twice the number found in the United States.
- There are believed to be 15,000 jaguars alive in the wild today.
- Over 120 prescription drugs worldwide today are derived directly from rainforest plants.
As the Amazon rainforest is destroyed, so does that habitat for plants and animals. Scientific research states the up to 57% of all trees species are already on the verge of extinction.
WHY THE AMAZON AID FOUNDATION?
Amazon Aid EDUCATES global audiences, ACTIVATES scientists, organizations, artists, thought leaders and citizens to engage in solutions that PROTECT the Amazon Rainforests.
Amazon Aid produces award winning multimedia projects to EDUCATE about the Amazon rainforest. The global release of the documentary film “River of Gold”, accompanying curriculum for schools, and social impact campaign exposes the illicit, dangerous, and growing threat of Artisanal and small scale gold mining( ASGM), and the consequent release of mercury into the Amazon ecosystem. Building coalitions Amazon Aid will ACTIVATE NGO’s, stakeholders, companies, governments, and global citizens to demand a clean supply chain for gold from the mines to the consumer, promote safe environmental mercury free mining practices within mining zones, and demand governance to PROTECT the Amazon rainforest.
Amazon Aid Foundation Voices
c/o Amazon Aid Foundation
P.O. Box 5649
Charlottesville, VA 22905
P: (434) 531-1907