A Vital Role and the Importance of Rainforests

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It is a common knowledge about the importance of rainforests and  that rainforests play a vital role in the environment. Living creatures greatly benefit from them. For humans, the air they breathe and resources they use, while for animals, it acts as their shelter and home. Rainforests are often called as the lungs of the planet for their role in absorbing carbon dioxide, greenhouse gas, and producing oxygen, upon which all animals depend for survival. According to Christina Nunez, a writer from National Geographic, rainforests are often partly self-watering; plants transpire and the moisture it creates keep the rainforests humid and warm. In fact, it was stated in the study of The Nature Conservancy that even though rainforests only cover less than 2 percent of the Earth’s surface area, they are home to 50 percent of the planet’s plants and animals. One of the most known rainforests in the world aside from the Amazon, are the rainforests found in Australia. As stated in the article entitled Australia’s State of the Forests Report in 2013, Australia has 3.6 million hectares of the rainforest, which contributes to the 3 percent of Australia’s total native forest area. For many years, their rainforests experience minimal bushfires but only few people are concerned about this matter not until these beautiful greens have been totally burned down, turned into ashes, and took away lives of many plants and animals, even humans.

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Last September 2019 began the early kickoff to fire season in New South Wales Forest and continued to early 2020. Each year there is a fire season during summer in Australia, with hot and dry weather making it easy for flames to start and spread immediately. Natural causes are to blame most of the time, like lightning strikes in drought affected forests. This time, there has been much debate about who or what to blame with regards to the said bushfire. According to the climate scientist Imran Ahmed, what climate change does is exacerbate the conditions in which the bushfires happen, it is also the fire area’s temperature since the Australia have just experienced a high record degree of hotness. Meanwhile, Police in New South Wales clarified since November 8, 2019 that a total of 183 people including 40 juveniles have been charged with 205 bushfire-related offenses. 24 across the state have been charged with starting the blazes in the bush, 53 people have had legal actions for allegedly failing to comply with a total fire ban, and 47 people have had legal actions for allegedly discarding a lighted cigarette or match on land .

Officials have claimed that the burning will continue for months. Australia has been famous for their tourist spots, well known places such as Victoria, Melbourne, New South Wales, and even Sydney. These are all located in the beautiful continent of Australia that is devastatingly burning as of today. New South Wales have been reported to have 381 homes destroyed in just a span of one week, and more than 1, 500 homes alone this fire season increasing daily, while Victoria and New South Wales together has over 200 fires currently burning. Australia’s current state brought the hottest, driest year ever recorded. Although some of the states in Australia are not affected by the large bushfire, this has given close cities heavy smoke to be considered hazardous to people’s health. Sydney has also been experiencing this, that has resulted to the discoloration of the sky that resulted to Sydney’s hottest temperature on record while Canberra’s air quality went over 340. It has been reported that more than 25 million acres have been burned, and for us to be able to imagine how large that covers, it could be compared to the whole size of Indiana. These numerous fires has greatly affected one of the most magnificent, mesmerizing and captivating continent of the world but, this does not end within their continent only. These fires brought dangerous smokes to countries nearby, from across the Pacific Ocean to countries such as New Zealand and South America; skies above Chile darkened, and a red sunset from Buenos Aires was witnessed as well. Clair Nullis has also reported that the smoke “probably” reached the Antarctic. These fires have affected different places already from within and outside the country. Moreover, this has done so many negative impacts to the different aspects of their country, not just economically and environmentally, but also physically and emotionally as it produced many casualties. Building up the structures that have vanished, replacing the millions and billions of fortune that have been burnt along with the trees and acres that stood for a long time and being able to cope up with the lives that has been lost, is not even imaginable right now.

Australia happened to be very unfortunate because of the fire. Just as the prime minister of Australia named Scott Morrison have said, ‘Until now, the fire won’t stop and it will burn for months.” Furthermore, according to the Ecologists of the University of Sydney, 480 million animals died since September when the fire season started. The firefighters- our brave and strong heroes of the conflagration risked their lives to save people and animals as many as they can, but sadly, there were quite a number of lifeless bodies found all over the place. Despite what happened, this matter has been circling around the Internet and has actually helped in spreading the heartbreaking news to the generous people around the world. With that, many celebrities, philanthropists, and businessmen have donated to Australia, and they raised more than 140 million dollars just to save what is left from the catastrophic incident.

The Australian rainforest’s bushfire truly made a devastating change in the world. Bushfires are normal phenomenon that happen in different areas surrounded with trees, but this event have brought one of the worst disasters that damaged the lungs of our planet. Until now, different personalities continue to donate huge amounts of money in different charities dedicated to help restore the said rainforest. No one knows what is the real deal on how the fire started to happen, but people should have been more careful on their actions and lifestyle around the area. For instance, people around should be careful on the resources they use that could cause great fire, like throwing lit cigars anywhere or leave behind their lit bonfire after camping, weed control, and many more. Citizens should have been prepared because they are the ones who were near the rainforests. Moreover, there should have been authorities that will guard down or even check the rainforests once in a while to protect the areas. Aside from that, to prevent any further mishaps, people should avoid sharing false information that could trigger the incident.

 Many lives are at stake that is why this matter should never be taken lightly. The most important part- preparation. Preparation would have made a big change; if only people were more prepared, the destruction could have been lesser. We all know that we cannot change the fact that naturally-occurring disasters are completely normal but we can mitigate and reduce their effects. We, humans, are the stewards of the wonderful world that our Creator has provided for us and the least we can do is to do our part in protecting and preserving the world. It does not matter how big or how small, as long as we contribute to the betterment of our world. A few steps could be a great leap for humanity; a small progress, will always be a progress. Start the change now.   

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