In the shadow of the pandemic: The Amazon region in danger

Im Schatten der Pandemie: Die Amazonasregion in Gefahr - el origen

If you look at the latest news, you are usually confronted with one topic: the corona pandemic. In doing so, other news fade into the background, such as the threat to the Amazon rainforest. There, trees are currently being felled at a rapid pace - due to conditions created by Covid-19. Hardly anyone reports about this - even though huge areas of forest are being lost at the moment.

It is difficult to summarize the extent of the danger in a few sentences. Nevertheless we would like to try to give a small insight into the situation.

The Amazon Rainforest is the largest tropical rainforest on our planet.

The Amazon rainforest comprises eight South American countries, including Ecuador, Peru, Brazil and Venezuela. The Amazon Basin is an incredible mosaic of ecosystems and is home to a huge biodiversity: numerous creatures find their home here. In addition, the forests of the Amazon are regarded as the lungs of our earth, as they are the largest CO2 reservoir and therefore play a central role in climate protection.

Once a retreat for indigenous people and other living creatures, the region has now become an extremely relevant and profitable marketplace, as it is rich in raw materials and cultivation areas. All of this happens at the expense of nature.

Until today, huge amounts of raw materials originating from the Amazon region have been and will continue to be exported - resource conservation is not an option! The problem, however, is mainly threats that arise from illegal activities.

An example: the area that was destroyed by illegal logging in the period from January to March this year is 796 square kilometers, the same size as New York City. For this reason, there are institutions dedicated to the protection of the Amazon region.

Due to precautionary measures currently in force due to the Corona pandemic, fewer controls are now being carried out in areas at risk. As a result, illegal collections are hardly ever detected and the areas are not protected. Intruders can spread uncontrolled and further destroy the forest. The existential crisis caused by the corona lockdown means that many people are forced to earn money illegally. Unfortunately, the easiest way to do this is by clearing the forest.

But not only the forest itself, but above all the health of the indigenous peoples is threatened by the Corona pandemic. The indigenous communities are particularly susceptible to the virus, as their immune systems usually have no contact whatsoever with western diseases such as influenza and are therefore unable to produce antibodies to the foreign virus. Especially highly isolated peoples, who have little or no contact with the rest of the world, are threatened by a severe course of disease. In addition, there is a poor infrastructure, hardly any access to health care and a lack of information about precautions that should be taken in the course of the pandemic. Since many peoples are afraid of contact with the virus, they retreat deep into the forest - provided that this is still possible.

The lives of indigenous peoples are increasingly threatened.
At the present time mainly by the corona virus itself, but also by effects that the virus has on already insufficient protective measures of the forest.

The current events, which take place in the depths of the forest, are thereby only a further wake-up call to deal responsibly with our environment and to take the protection of our earth seriously. Even though we as human population are facing great challenges due to the Corona virus, we must not forget that there are other threats we have to deal with instead of keeping our distance.

Today it is incredibly important to always consciously deal with news and to ask oneself what one can do against this injustice.
Often it is our own consumption that determines how nature and all living things in other parts of the world are doing: whether it is renouncing animal products (for which in the Amazon region huge areas of fodder are often cultivated), boycotting conventional palm oil or supporting reforestation projects - every step counts and helps our planet!

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