A Conversation About Conservation of the Amazon Rainforest
By Czarina Nafarrate, Content & Program Coordinator
Last week, we talked to you about the latest wildfires ravaging the Amazon forest. A crucial ecosystem to our planet, we jumped into action and were humbled to see immediate support from you, our donors.
GreaterGood.org partnered with Rainforest Trust to proactively protect surviving rainforest acreage by helping indigenous communities gain legal protection over their land in an effort to avoid tragedies like these from continuing and expanding.
Rainforest Trust Acting CEO, Mark Gruin, spoke with our team about the importance of this biodiverse region beyond the Brazilian Amazon, what the organization is doing to conserve these lands, and what actions society can take to prevent any more damage to our planet.
Gruin noted that the sudden and supportive response to the current wildfires was encouraging, but he believes that response like this must be a long-term effort.
“It’s incredibly important that we do something about it, not just in response to the current situation … but continue to do the work to protect the standing forest from these kinds of incursions in the future,” he said.
And that’s because, now more than ever, our planet’s future depends on the protection of ecosystems like these. In fact, these regions are responsible for filtering and reprocessing humans’ harmful carbon dioxide output, reducing greenhouse effects responsible for climate change.
Gruin believes that in addition to climate protection, watershed protection, and biodiversity protection, the rainforest region is crucial to the existence of local communities and vice versa.
“It’s both a conservation perspective and a human rights perspective. And to me, and I think to all of us here at Rainforest Trust, there’s no separation between the two. People have lived in these forests for hundreds of generations,” he said.
Based on this, GreaterGood.org’s latest efforts to help indigenous people in Peru take back their land is an important feat for future conservation.
“We know from experience that empowering local communities that have the legal rights [to the land] … work in concert with conservation organizations, government agencies, social agencies to be able to maximize their ability … to live sustainably in concert with the forest, and to be stewards of forest protection,” Gruin said, “[It] is something that provides not just short-term, but long-term benefit for all parties involved and all perspectives involved.”
Gruin admitted that long-term solutions might not feel immediate enough and people might feel helpless at the moment. However, he believes that the most efficient way to help is through education and awareness.
“When you feel helpless or when something outrages you, educate yourself,” he said, ” [because] education and awareness lead to action.”
Gruin is hopeful that this awareness will grow beyond the Brazilian Amazon and address similar issues in Bolivia, Indonesia, Angola, and Peru, where many of the projects are based. Especially, since the Brazilian government has made it difficult to help.
“We are continuing [fire-preventing] work in many other places around the world. So we’re currently experiencing, very thankfully, an outpouring of support for a project in the Peruvian Amazon, which will help prevent this from happening there,” Gruin said, emphasizing the importance of rainforests as a whole.
Thanks to your donations, GreaterGood.org will be protecting over 100,000 acres of the Amazon with Rainforest Trust, and we won’t stop there.
“It’s been more than 10 years that GreaterGood.org has been part of the [Rainforest Trust] work, and we like to consider you part of the family.”
You can still help. Donate $1 to protect 1 acre of land here.