The eyes of Brazil and the world turn to the largest rainforest and largest biodiversity reserve on Earth #PrayForAmazonia.

amazon river.jpeg

(Lucas Campoi, Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Bárbara Okabaiasse Luizeti, a 20 years old third year medical
student from Brazil. 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.


In times of drought, forest is fuel. If the drought (between the months of May and September in Brazil) does not explain the current burning, the resumption of forest clearing does so. The burning of this region usually results from the occupation and land use model, with the deforestation of large areas and consequent burning of vegetation, both pasture and primary forest to prepare the land for planting.

They aim at renewing or restoring vegetation used for cattle feed, eliminating weeds and adding nutrients to the soil from burnt biomass. However, in the long run, it causes physical-chemical and biological degradation of the soil, and brings damage to the environment.

For three weeks, forests and woods have been burning in the northern states of Brazil, spanning Acre, Rondônia, Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul, including areas of the Amazon and Pantanal. The fires have already reached the triple border between Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay.

The Amazon River basin, which is about the size of Australia, is covered with dense vegetation that includes 400 billion trees. The dense, moisture-filled forest exhales one-fifth of the planet’s oxygen, stores centuries-old carbon and deflects and consumes an unknown but significant amount of solar heat.

The Amazon rainforest feeds systems on a planetary scale, including atmospheric rivers, as 20% of the world’s freshwater cycles through this rainforest. Without their natural composition, affected by burning, various parts of the planet suffer (will suffer). Not only in terms of health, but also quality of life.

Air pollution has the effect of aggravating respiratory diseases such as Rhinitis, Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, impairing the quality of life of patients with these non-communicable chronic diseases. Not only in the short term, but in the long term the effects on the health-disease process of populations are catastrophic, including reduced survival and impaired quality and quantity of water available in the air. So #PrayForAmazonia.

About the author

My name is Bárbara Okabaiasse Luizeti. I am 20 years old and a third year medical
student. I’ m working as Vice President of the Miguel Nicolelis Academic Center, LPR-
D (Local Officer on Publications and Research Director) and Director of the Nucleus of
Scientific Research at IFMSA Brazil UniCesumar. I’m Vice President of the Academic
League of Ophthalmology and Otolaryngology of Maringá (LAOOM) and member of the
Academic League of Pediatrics of Maringá (LAPEM). I have always been dedicated to
helping vulnerable populations from extracurricular projects, and disseminating health
information to lay people and academics.

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