Global Community Unites To Fight The Fires In The Amazon

The fires are sparking action.

The Amazon is burning, but governments across the country are uniting to fight it.

In the last week, as news reports of fires in Amazon rainforest broke across the world, global leaders have committed to stepping up to the challenge. At the G7 summit over the weekend, more than $20 million was committed to stopping the fires by Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.

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Along with the $20 million pledge from G7 leaders, Canada has said it will throw in another $15 million in and send water bombers to help Brazil fight the fires. Bolivia sent the world's largest firefighting air tanker to the Amazon last week. Leonardo DiCaprio's organization Earth Alliance committed $5 million to fight the fire, as well. Even the tree-planting search engine Ecosia, which donates 80 percent of its profits from search aads to tree planting, saw an 1150 percent increase in downloads over the day. 

Reuters / Marizilda Cruppe /Amnesty International

"We could pretend that the situation in the Amazon is just part of a natural cycle, but that's not exactly what's going on here," Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said. "The toll of human activity and extreme weather events on our communities, our environment, our health and our world will continue to climb unless we take decisive action as part of our broader commitment to fight climate change."

The fires in the Amazon are breaking record numbers and have raised alarms about the impact of climate change and the role the Amazon forest plays in it. Because the Amazon rain forest is so big, its responsible for absorbing huge amounts of carbon emissions. Without it, scientists say the rate of climate change would accelerate. 

Even Pope Francis spoke out about the need to address the fires.

"We are all worried about the vast fires that have developed in the Amazon," he told a crowd in St. Peter's Square. "Let us pray so that with the commitment of all, they can be put out soon. That lung of forests is vital for our planet."

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