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A Gold Medal Opportunity for the Amazon Rainforest

Gold Medal

The Olympics official flag landed in Brazil, the host city for the 2016 Games last Wednesday.  With this, the publicity around Brazil is bound to increase as they revamp Rio De Janeiro to host over a million people.  In addition to this, Brazil is going to host the World Cup in 2014.   For us conservationists, it’s hoped that the publicity that comes with hosting the Olympics and the World Cup will also bring attention to the outskirts of town where destruction of the Amazon Rainforest is having a devastating effect on the world.

The Amazon is the planet’s largest remaining rainforest with more diversity and wildlife than anywhere on Earth. The Amazon Rainforest has been described as the “Lungs of our Planet” because it produces more than 20% of the world’s oxygen by sequestering carbon dioxide.   Tragically, despite all the effort to stop deforestation of the Amazon, deforestation continues from logging and to make room for agriculture products like soybeans and palm oil.  In the mid 2000’s Greenpeace reported that the six football fields of the Amazon Forest were destroyed every minute. Fortunately, this has slowed but not nearly enough. Even if the deforestation of the Amazon stopped today, some rare species would still be doomed and disappear forever.  Continuing to educate and create awareness will be our only hope.  The Olympics brings the world together for a few shorts weeks to compete and the World Cup last about 4 weeks.  Could these same countries come together and bring awareness to rainforest destruction of Brazil’s Amazon Rainforest?   How about a new Olympic sport, what team can plant 1000 trees the fastest?

Amazon Rainforest

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