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What can we do to stop wildfires?

What can we do to stop wildfires?

The fires in the world's great forests are increasing every year. In the summer of 2019 more than 5 million hectares of forest were burnt in Siberia alone, more than half of the United States, more than the whole of Europe. But can we really do something to stop the fires?

Can you imagine a fire that goes from Portugal to Sweden and goes as far as Greece? That's what happened in Siberia. And then in the Amazon. But that's not all: in 2019, according to the Global Forest Watch Fires (Gfwf) of the World Resources Institute (a fire research organization that operates in over 60 countries in the world), there were almost 3 million fire alerts in the world. 

Are there many? Suffice it to say that they are growing year by year: in 2018 they were 100 thousand less, in 2017 200 thousand less. In the Amazon, fires have reached 75,000, 84% more than last year. The Siberian fire alone released more than 50 million tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, the equivalent of Sweden's annual emissions.

The situation is very serious, because the fires, which are partly helped by climate change, in turn accelerate them. The release of Co2 into the atmosphere due to combustion accumulates due to the lack of a "lung" effect of the billions of trees that have gone up in smoke. 

Deforestation, including that caused by fires, eliminates in a few days entire groups of animal species, entire ecosystems. Many species are on the verge of extinction, and this triggers a chain that could lead to a great mass extinction in a few decades. 

This is not gratuitous scaremongering, but an obvious reality that we must fight. And how can we do that? How can a simple citizen prevent this from happening? You can, and now we see how.

How can we stop fires

Climate change plays a key role in the increase in fires: prolonged periods of drought facilitate the self-combustion of flora. But most, if not all, of the fires are of arson origin

In Siberia, the fires seem to have been caused by the melting of the permafrost, due to the exceptional rise in temperatures. The soil thus released large quantities of greenhouse gases, which were trapped in the ice. In this way, millions of hectares have gone up in smoke, which could be cultivated or used for the extraction of mineral resources.

The fires are set in the Amazon and other regions of the world in order to cultivate those regions, which are particularly fertile, and to plant palms for the production of palm oil, cocoa for the production of industrial cocoa, but also sugar cane and other plants such as soya for the feeding of farm animals. 

The extraction of resources and the feeding of humans and animals are the main reasons for the increase in fires. Demand for food and minerals is increasing, and the market has no qualms about finding new ways to increase production and reduce costs. 

National Geographic says that “The biggest driver of deforestation is agriculture. Farmers cut forests to provide more room for planting crops or grazing livestock. Intensive livestock production requires large quantities of harvested feed. The growing of cereals for feed in turn requires substantial areas of land”.

The Rainforest Foundation says that “Today as more meat and meat products are imported from Latin America it’s especially important to reduce meat consumption. Animal breeding depends on intensive agriculture, which in turn requires massive amounts of land, energy, and water.” 

So, one of the best solutions is to opt for a vegan diet, or at least to reduce by 80% the animal proteins in your daily diet. If we all do it, this could save huge amounts of hectares of land, it would be good for the quality of water, air and for the hundreds of animals that wouldn’t be killed.

Every citizen is, of course, also a consumer, an actor in this global market, and as such his or her choices influence the development of supply and demand. If no one consumed more palm oil, refined sugar and reduced the consumption of animal proteins, the fires would immediately decrease. 

Each of us has a great responsibility: choices in purchasing have a great social, political and environmental value. At Iswari, we are committed to spreading the values of sustainable and healthy nutrition, respect for the environment and local populations. What you too can do, is to choose only responsibly created products and in this sense, if you choose Iswari products, you play it safe.