Madonna and Leonardo DiCaprio were among the scores of Hollywood figures demanding action to address the ongoing crisis in the Brazilian Amazon, where fires continue to ravage the world’s largest tropical rainforest.
Shocking images of the fires are currently being streamed worldwide, with many people blaming Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro over his inaction and commitment to using parts of the forest for agribusiness and economic development. One of those was Madonna, who urged people to “wake up.”
“The Fires Are Raging and The Amazonia continues to burn………This is devastation to Brazil—to the indigenous people who live there and the-plant and animal species that make this the most important bio-diverse Forest!!!” the singer said.
“President Bolsonaro please change your policies and help not only your country but the entire planet. No economic development is more important than protecting this land,” she continued. “We need to WAKE -UP!! The future of the rainforest affects the future of the world!”
View this post on Instagram
The Fires Are Raging and The Amazonia continues to burn………This is a devastation to Brazil—to the indigenous people who live there and the-plant and animal species that make this the most important bio-diverse Forest!!! President Bolsonaro please change your policies and help not only your country but the entire planet. No economic development is more important than protecting this land. 🙏🏼 we need to WAKE -UP!! The future of the rainforest affects the future of the world! 🌎🌏🌍 #prayforamazonia #amazonrainforest #brazil #wakeup
According to data collected by Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (NISR), which monitors deforestation and wildfires, around 74,000 fires have occurred across the Amazon rainforest in 2019, an 84 percent increase from the same period in 2018.
Such figures were cited by actor Leonardo DiCaprio, who declared that the “lungs of the earth are in flames.”
“The Brazilian Amazon — home to 1 million Indigenous people and 3 million species — has been burning for more than two weeks straight,” he wrote on Instagram. “Scientists and conservationists attribute the accelerating deforestation to President Jair Bolsonaro, who issued an open invitation to loggers and farmers to clear the land after taking office in January. ”
“The largest rainforest in the world is a critical piece of the global climate solution,” DiCaprio continued. “Without the Amazon, we cannot keep the Earth’s warming in check.
” The Amazon needs more than our prayers,” he added, before listing a range of ways people can help protect the environment.
View this post on Instagram
#Regram #RG @rainforestalliance: The lungs of the Earth are in flames. 🔥 The Brazilian Amazon—home to 1 million Indigenous people and 3 million species—has been burning for more than two weeks straight. There have been 74,000 fires in the Brazilian Amazon since the beginning of this year—a staggering 84% increase over the same period last year (National Institute for Space Research, Brazil). Scientists and conservationists attribute the accelerating deforestation to President Jair Bolsonaro, who issued an open invitation to loggers and farmers to clear the land after taking office in January. The largest rainforest in the world is a critical piece of the global climate solution. Without the Amazon, we cannot keep the Earth’s warming in check. The Amazon needs more than our prayers. So what can YOU do? ✔ As an emergency response, donate to frontline Amazon groups working to defend the forest. ✔ Consider becoming a regular supporter of the Rainforest Alliance’s community forestry initiatives across the world’s most vulnerable tropical forests, including the Amazon; this approach is by far the most effective defense against deforestation and natural forest fires, but it requires deep, long-term collaboration between the communities and the public and private sectors. ✔ Stay on top of this story and keep sharing posts, tagging news agencies and influencers. ✔ Be a conscious consumer, taking care to support companies committed to responsible supply chains. Eliminate or reduce consumption of beef; cattle ranching is one of the primary drivers of Amazon deforestation. ✔ When election time comes, VOTE for leaders who understand the urgency of our climate crisis and are willing to take bold action—including strong governance and forward-thinking policy. #RainforestAlliance #SaveTheAmazon #PrayForAmazonia #AmazonRainforest #ActOnClimate #ForestsResist #ClimateCrisis 📸: @mohsinkazmitakespictures / Windy.com
Other celebrities, including singers Miguel and Camila Cabello, actors like John Cusack and Whitney Cummings, reality TV star Kris Jenner, soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo, and internet personality Logan Paul also took to social media to express their dismay:
The burning of the Amazon rainforest is the most pressing story of the day. If we lose too much, we can’t effectively fight climate change. Inexplicably, elected leaders in the U.S. and Brazil don’t seem to care. But here’s how YOU can help:https://t.co/96iYLSE8qp
— Seth MacFarlane (@SethMacFarlane) August 23, 2019
And cap wants to talk about Jill stien ? RT @Y2SHAF: a reminder that the amazon forest has been on fire for 3 weeks now and because of the lack of media coverage people don’t know about it. this is one of most important ecosystems on earth pic.twitter.com/JERjoKbWjE
— John Cusack (@johncusack) August 21, 2019
I’m just finding out the Amazon rainforest has been on fire for 16 days but every news outlet has made time to cover that it’s the 30th anniversary of Saved By the Bell. Happy Apocalypse everyone!
— Whitney Cummings (@WhitneyCummings) August 21, 2019
This makes me want to cry with frustration. what are we DOING? We’re literally destroying our miracle of a home 😭😭😭 I’m so sorry, earth 💔💔💔 pic.twitter.com/0MDMCowsPZ
— camila (@Camila_Cabello) August 21, 2019
View this post on Instagram
…And your children. And your children’s children. The amazon provides 20% of our oxygen every year and it’s burning at a record rate right now and for the past 18/19 days. This is a WORLD Emergency and effects all of our security. Still, the media has not made this a priority. You can’t afford to ignore this. Please share this information and tag @unitednations @unitednationshumanrights
— Kris Jenner (@KrisJenner) August 22, 2019
The Amazon Rainforest produces more than 20% of the world’s oxygen and its been burning for the past 3 weeks. It’s our responsibility to help to save our planet. #prayforamazonia pic.twitter.com/83bNL5a37Q
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) August 22, 2019
As noted by CNN, many of the images shared by celebrities are not from the current crisis, with Logan Paul’s photo having been taken in 1989.
amazon rainforest: how can i help? need advice on how i can actually make a change here; these pictures are breaking my heart… this is one of the most important ecosystems on earth. is there a fundraiser, a call to action, anything i can leverage my audience for on this? pic.twitter.com/s3RcbZbMr0
— Logan Paul (@LoganPaul) August 21, 2019
— Mia Farrow (@MiaFarrow) August 23, 2019
20% of THE EARTH’s oxygen. https://t.co/Djro3v8ER3
— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) August 22, 2019
Oh my God. https://t.co/v7EMjzo05s
— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) August 23, 2019
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Bolsonaro suggested that various non-governmental organizations (NGOs) could have started the fires in an effort to undermine his administration and plans for economic development.
“On the question of burning in the Amazon, which in my opinion may have been initiated by NGOs because they lost money, what is the intention?” he told reporters. “Maybe — I am not affirming it — these (NGOs) are carrying out some criminal actions to draw attention against me, against the government of Brazil. This is the war we are facing.”