Voices Of Youth

Doing our part to save the Amazon

A fire burns a tract of Amazon jungle as it is cleared by loggers and farmers near Porto Velho, Brazil, on Aug 31, 2019.
A fire burns a tract of Amazon jungle as it is cleared by loggers and farmers near Porto Velho, Brazil, on Aug 31, 2019.PHOTO: REUTERS

Recent news reports on the fires in the Amazon have triggered concern about damage to one of the most important ecosystems in the world and the role of forests in climate change (Feeling the burn, Aug 27). Deforestation was also cited as a big contributor to the crisis. Everyone can do his part to slow down damage to our environment.

It has been proven that cattle ranching accounts for 80 per cent of current deforestation rates, and livestock farming contributes up to 18 per cent of human-induced greenhouse gases, which is higher than all the greenhouse gas emissions from transport vehicles.

Also, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature, forests are being cleared to rear livestock.

The Amazon generates 20 per cent of the world's oxygen and is essential to regulate the planet's climate. It is also home to approximately three million species of plants and animals, as well as being the indigenous people's land.

It may seem as though we have little power to help, but little acts like choosing to skip eating meat for just one day a week, or opting for meat substitutes, can make a bigger impact than many people realise.

With less demand comes less supply, and in turn, lower rates of deforestation.

Enthusiasm about saving the planet is great, but nothing will change without action.

Anika Agarwal, 18

University Foundation Programme student


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 02, 2019, with the headline 'Doing our part to save the Amazon'. Print Edition | Subscribe