Charity spotlight: Amazon Conservation Association
From providing support for Brazilian nut farmers to incentivize them to protect the forest to being the champions of 4 million acres of rainforest, Amazon Conservation Association has come a long way in the last 20 years. By uniting science, innovation and community, Amazon Conservation has established Peru's first conservation concession and worked to empower indigenous communities to develop forest-friendly practices and livelihoods.
Why the Amazon? Well, Jeff Bezos was onto something when he named his company after the forest. The piece of land where the Andes meet the rainforest is almost magical -- home to millions of plants and animals taking refuge from climate change. One-third of all the species found on earth call the Amazon rainforest their home. This includes about 15% of the world's bird and butterfly populations and is an important spawning ground for many migratory fish.
But that's not all. The Amazon is literally shaping the earth's climate and weather. 20% of the entire world's oxygen is produced in the Amazon and up to 120 billion tons of carbon is stored there (that's more than the weight of literally every single car, truck and bus in the entire world). Even more, unlike on flat terrain, the high altitude provides wildlife relief so they can readjust their distribution as the planet gets ever hotter and drier.
The state of the forest? Well, things aren't going so well. Threats of deforestation from poaching, illegal logging, mining, oil prospecting and agricultural expansion threaten this beautiful habitat every day. At the rate things are going, by 2030 (hi, that's just 12 years from now) more than half of the Amazon rainforest will be severely damaged.
So what are we going to do to protect this vitally important part of the world? Your $50 donation to Amazon Conservation could plant about 50 trees, sponsor an environmental education program for Peruvian children or help build a community tree nursery for reforestation projects.
And when you donate to Amazon Conservation Association, you know your money is in good hands. They have been rated 4/4 stars by Charity Navigator, meaning they're transparent and trustworthy.