Almost 73,000 fires have been detected by Brazil's space research center INPE, Reuters reported. That's a record number, up more than 80% compared to last year. Environmentalists from Amazon Watch, a group that works to protect the Amazon and indigenous people, say many of the fires have been deliberately set by farmers and ranchers to clear the land for agriculture, with the encouragement of Brazil's right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro.
Many celebrities posted about the devastating fires and several called on Bolsonaro to make a change. Some noted that protecting the Amazon benefits the entire world, since the massive rainforest is home to thousands of unique species and plays an important role in mitigating climate change.
"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!!!" Madonna wrote on Instagram. "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."
Leonardo DiCaprio shared information from Rainforest Alliance, suggesting ways concerned people across the globe can help. "Consider becoming a regular supporter of the Rainforest Alliance's community forestry initiatives across the world's most vulnerable tropical forests, including the Amazon," he wrote.
DiCaprio suggested making donations, staying informed and being a conscious consumer, "taking care to support companies committed to responsible supply chains."
Jennifer Lopez and Shakira reposted DiCaprio's Instagram and other celebrities, including Kris Jenner, posted about the Amazon, using the hashtags "Pray for Amazonia" and "Save the Amazon."
Diddy posted a video with his children, explaining the crisis and noting that the Amazon rainforest generates considerable amounts of our world's oxygen.
French President Emmanuel Macron called it "an international crisis" and urged fellow world leaders to take action during their upcoming G-7 summit. He tweeted: "Our house is burning. Literally. The Amazon rain forest – the lungs which produces 20% of our planet's oxygen – is on fire. It is an international crisis. Members of the G7 Summit, let's discuss this emergency first order in two days!"
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