Conservation Group Stays Focused on Preventing Future Amazon Fires

With feet on the ground and satellites in the air, the Amazon Conservation Association is keeping close eye on the rainforest fires in Brazil and Bolivia, with a focus toward future prevention.

The recent fires in the Amazon rainforest have been a huge point of controversy on a global scale, with many debates between major leaders over what should be done.

And while there are limits to what associations and nonprofits can do to stop the current spate of fires, at least one group is thinking about preventing future ones.

The Amazon Conservation Association (ACA) has been keeping a close eye on the situation in South America, working directly with authorities in stakeholder countries on helping to bolster future fire-prevention efforts.

“Although Amazon Conservation cannot stop the current fires from happening—at this point, only national and local authorities can—we can help prevent them from happening,” ACA said on its website last week. “We are doing our part to support current efforts in Bolivia, by working with several organizations to generate reliable information to implement actions that are helping firefighters and inhabitants of affected areas.”

The group has been closely tracking  and mapping the nature of the fire through its real-time satellite-monitoring program MAAP (Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project). Many of the fires are taking place in Brazil, though some are affecting Bolivia, a country that has a close relationship with ACA.

While the association does not have on-the-ground representatives in Brazil, it offers data that still can be of use to Brazilian officials.

Additionally, ACA’s cofounder, Adrian Forsyth, told USA Today that the current political situation in Brazil is worsening the situation.

“If you had an enlightened president in Brazil, they would put a stop to illegal deforestation in Brazil, just in the way that they prevent robbery and murder,” he told the outlet.

In his comments, Forsyth added that it was imperative to take steps to help control and repair the damage in the Amazon as quickly as possible.

“The Amazon is the biggest storer of tropical carbon in the world, and if that goes up into the sky it’s going to be impossible to meet the climate goals that we’re trying to establish,” he added.

Meanwhile, ACA Executive Director John Beavers noted that the world needs to take the Amazon fire as seriously as it has other major fires involving important cultural entities.

“In the same way that the world came together to reconstruct the Notre Dame Cathedral when it burned, we must do the same for the Amazon now,” Beavers said.

An aerial view of the fires in the Amazon rainforest. (European Space Agency/Flickr)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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