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  • Writer's pictureMegan Friend

News: The Amazon forest is reaching a dangerous tipping point

Updated: Jan 30, 2023

The Amazon forest is starting to collapse and it's having dramatic implications on the climate — and the health, well-being, and economies of Indigenous communities.

The Amazon rainforest is the ancestral home of Indigenous peoples and countless species of animals and medicinal plants. And it helps stabilize regional and global weather patterns, protect biodiversity, and curtail the climate crisis.

But it is reaching an irreversible tipping point that threatens our climate and collective future. A recent report has warned that deforestation and high degradation combined have already reached 26 percent of the region. This destruction is due to cattle ranching, industrial mining, drought, fires, and other factors.

And a recent Washington Post article states that, “For years, scientists have been warning that the Amazon is speeding toward a tipping point — the moment when deforestation and global warming would trigger an irreversible cascade of climatic forces, killing large swaths of what remained. If somewhere between 20 and 25 percent of the forest were lost, models suggested, much of the Amazon would perish.”

The Amazon helps regulate global temperatures through absorbing and storing carbon and converting it into life-giving oxygen — making it vital to combating climate change. But when these forests are logged, this carbon is emitted into the atmosphere, undermining the urgent global efforts to avoid climate catastrophe.

As a result, dramatic ecological shifts have already been seen throughout the Amazon. The region is experiencing reduced rainfall. In fire-scorched areas of the Rio Negro floodplains, jungle has started to turn to savanna. In the southeastern Amazon, which has been inundated by destructive cattle ranching, trees are dying off and the climate is becoming drier. And in the southwestern Amazon, lands have been ravaged by fire and drought.

Because of these shifts, the entire ecosystem is out of balance and many communities are going hungry, lacking access to clean water, and even being displaced. Urgent action is needed.

RandomGood cares deeply about empowering people to defend the environment and to advance Indigenous rights. And we're dedicated to telling stories that help educate and activate individuals regarding habitat, wildlife, and climate disruption.

That’s why we’re proud to support the new film Through the Smoke, which amplifies the voices of some of the "earth defenders" who have devoted their lives to protecting and saving the Amazon rainforest. This documentary film is an exposé on the health of the Amazon basin, told by the people closest to this critically-important forest.

Stay tuned for more info on this inspiring film soon and how you can make your voice heard.

Photos courtesy of the Through the Smoke film team.


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