Since the inception of 2020, Many environmental crises have been going on. The Pandemic in itself is a dominant problem the whole world is fighting against. But many other major crises have joined the growing fatalities and losses of the coronavirus pandemic. One of them being Forest fires. The fire season continues to approach many parts of the world in striking figures. 2020 Forest Fires Globally Could be Worse Than 2019, WWF has warned. Forest fires have been in California, Australia, Amazon, Indonesia and even in some parts of India.
The outbreak of forest fires in the world is majorly and closely related to the crisis of Climate Change. There have been more fires alerts around the world this year than last year. Forest Fires put a lot of aspects of Human Life under pressure and distress. It is prevalent that both causes and consequences of climate change are multifaceted.
The baggage of causes and consequences are highly weighing on Humans as well as on the environment. The world witnessed the devastating impacts of the fires last year, from billions of wildlife lost and people losing their homes and livelihoods, not to mention the impact on climate” said Fran Price, global leader for forests at WWF. And yet, here we are again.
We bear what we sow. Wildfires have consequences for human health, biodiversity, and economies, the report says. Though direct human fatalities from fire, estimated at between 100 and 400 per year, are relatively low compared to other natural disasters and secondary effects to health from smoke are significant.
Long after the flames subside, public health and well-being are compromised. An estimated 340,000 premature deaths from cardiovascular and respiratory issues attributed to wildfire smoke occur each year, 80% of them in Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. And in 2017, nearly 550,000 people were forced to flee their homes because of wildfires. Rural and Indigenous communities, including those in the Amazon, are at risk as the fire season progresses.
Fires also take an economic toll, reducing supply chains and tourism, destroying infrastructure and lowering property values. Australia’s 2019 fires, for example, cost the country’s tourism industry an estimated $2.9 billion. In the U.S., areas affected by wildfires see a 10-20% drop in property values.
Biodiversity is hard hit by fires, which directly kill and displace animals, as well as disrupt food chains and the balance of ecosystems on which animals and plants rely.
What can be done?
“It is tallied that humans are credible for around 75% of all wildfires,”. This means explanations and solutions are in our grasp too. There’s no magic bullet that will fix the issue overnight, but there are ways forward if behaviours of the past are changed. As we acknowledge how “History repeats itself” so does the “Environmental Crises” and to deal with both of them it’s important to adopt a systematic and organized process and techniques to deal with it so that it can be balanced over time.
Several urgent actions to address fires, including investing in fire prevention, halting deforestation, raising national goals for emission reductions, bringing fire back to fire-dependent landscapes, clarifying governance and coordinating policies, bringing the private sector on board, and relying on science should be taken into contemplation.
Proactivity and commitment must be at the heart of a global response to fires and must play out at local, sub-national, national, and regional levels. People should also come forward with campaigns to address the major problems.
Preventing fires before they occur is paramount, and far preferable in all respects to restraining them when they’re burning. Good intentions on paper mean nothing if they’re not followed up with real and effective actions on the ground — and these actions need to focus urgently on forests and addressing climate change.
For governments, investing in fire prediction and prevention and focusing on the root must be the primary goal so exposed areas can be targeted first to take actions on. Governments are urged to set higher goals for climate change mitigation.
Local people should also realise the sense of responsibility they hold for the land they live on and not go beyond and illegal means to clear lands for their capital and profits by exploiting the interests of majority people specially the indigenous and tribal communities.
Humans are the villains in this case majorly who are not able to tame what’s exactly in their hands. Climate Change supercharges Environment in a way which is detrimental to our very existence on one and only planet which supports life.
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