The Amazon is burning and we’re all watching

amazon 19.jpeg

(Ryk Porras, Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Nweke Ozioma Ruth, a Nigerian medical student. She is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


The Amazon is Burning and we’re all Watching…

The Amazon Rain Forest which is the only remaining rain forest left on the earth in terms of size and constituents is Burning and we’re all probably wondering what the effect is right?

The Amazon  Rain forest has long been recognized as the repository of ecological services for both local communities around the Amazon and the entire World.

                       -an excerpt from an article on the importance of the Amazon Rain Forest.

For decades, Forests have served a special function of detoxifying the air that we breathe, they carry out this function through a simple process. Since Trees use Carbon(iv)oxide for special purposes like photosynthesis, they make sure to absorb all the carbon(iv)oxide in the air and give out oxygen in return. For this special reason the Amazon Rain Forest has earned its name as the “Lungs of the Earth.”

With the Amazon Forest on Fire, the trees are incapable of carrying out this purification function and thus instead of detoxifying the atmosphere, the fumes from the burnt trees give out Carbon(iv)oxide and utilize oxygen for burning instead.

The Amazon Rain Forest has also been respected greatly for its vast possession of medicinal plants, tress, flowers which have served a function of healing for the local populace and the entire world as scientist have proved that at least half of 1% of the flower species that exist have important Medicinal functions. With the absence of the Rain Forest, these flowers would be lost too and this means we would soon start to lack supply of these flowers for drug production.

The Amazon Rain Forest most importantly performs a great function of maintaining the Weather and Climate of the World through a natural process known as Evapotranspiration; A process which describes the evaporation and transpiration of water from plants.

Water exchange occurs between plants and the oceans and rivers and this helps to aid circulation of ocean currents and thus influence world climates.

With the absence of the Amazon Rain Forest there’d be little or no exchange of water between the plants and the atmosphere thus affecting world climate.

Global health is greatly at risk with the lungs of the earth facing extinction. Smoke from the forest fire is causing increased release of Carbon (iv) oxide into the atmosphere thus leading to pollution and smoke clouds. This will lead to an increase in respiratory conditions like cough, lung cancer etc.

The increased burning of the Amazon Forest is slowly undoing the various ecological processes that has been refined over a million years.

Over the years local tribes that live around the Amazon Rain Forest have passed down their ancestry the practice of herbal medicine production. With the Amazon Rain Forest gone, I’m afraid this long tradition would be lost too.

If the Amazon Rain Forest is not saved now, the world would be facing an increased threat to global warming which would eventually lead to a great dent in the fabric of global health.

About the author

Nweke Ozioma Ruth is a Nigerian medical student, a member of Standing Committee on Sexual reproductive Health, HIV/AIDS and Gender Based violence[SCORA]; an organization under Nigerian Medical Students Association which is aimed at providing awareness on issues concerning sexual reproductive health and HIV/AIDS. She is also a member of Live Mother and Child Initiative which is aimed at providing sexual and
reproductive health and right related services to women in rural areas of eastern Nigeria. She has over one year experience working and volunteering with organizations and initiatives promoting sexual and reproductive health and right, comprehensive sexual education and Gender based violence advocacy.

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