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Nature Nuggets

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The Amazing Amazon!

Often referred to as “Lungs of the Earth”, they produce more than 20% of the oxygen in the world! Celebrated every year on September 5th, can you guess what are we discussing about in this latest issue of wisdom nuggets?

If you guessed the Amazon Rainforest, you guessed it right! Possibly one of the most fascinating places on the Earth, it captivates us by it’s vast size and unique ecosystem. The Amazon is home to more species of plants and animals than any other terrestrial ecosystem on the planet — perhaps 30% of the world’s species are found there!

Did you know that Amazon Rainforest, located in South America, spans across 9 countries in total: Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana. Covering about 40% of South America, the Amazon contains 1.4 billion acres of dense forests! Let’s learn more about the amazing Amazon in this latest edition of Wisdom Nuggets!

The Amazon is one of Earth’s last refuges for jaguars, harpy eagles, and pink river dolphins, and it is home to sloths, black spider monkeys, and poison dart frogs. It contains 10%  known species on Earth, 40,000 plant species, 3,000 freshwater fish species, and more than 370 types of reptiles! Read this to learn about 5 rainforest species that could possibly save our lives!

Yet, it is facing one of the biggest threats of deforestation. It is estimated that more than a quarter of the Amazon will be lost by 2030 if the current rate of deforestation continues!

As we will all celebrate World Amazon Day this year on September 5th, let’s get inspired to help save the lungs of our planet. Watch this video to learn how WWF is helping the indigenous communities, the Amazonians, in tackling the issue of deforestation with the help of latest technology, drones.

Get creative and link the environmental education with your favorite subject in the curriculum!

  1. Language – Read the story “Jungle Jigsaw” here. Discuss with your classmates and come out with at least two more steps that Chambal can take in her strive to save the Amazon ecosystem.

  1. Social Studies – On a world map, plot all the major rainforests on earth and display it in your classroom or at home. Make a list of trivia on each rainforest and play a quiz with your friends or schoolmates.
  1. Math – Out of the total area under Amazon Rainforests, spanning over 9 countries, Brazil alone has approx. 60% of the forest cover. The graph below shows the loss of forest cover (in sq. km.) in Brazil (on Y-axis) in the last 2 decades (time on X-Axis)
Figure 1: Tree cover loss and primary forest loss in the Brazilian Amazon, 2002-19. Credits: mongabay.com

Read the graph carefully and find out the year when:

  1. Tree Cover Loss was the highest
  2. Tree Cover Loss was the lowest
  3. Primary Forest Loss was the highest
  4. Primary Forest Loss was the lowest

Mention the numbers in each of the above cases. Read more on this here.

  1. Science – Discuss with your friends and list down 5 reasons why rainforest cover across the world has been declining in the last 2 decades and list down 2 ways it impacts us humans.

Do you remember that last summer in 2019, the Amazon was deliberately burnt down and cleared out causing devastating fires for months?! Yet this is happening again – right now! At a rate even faster than before. “Between August 2019 and July 2020 deforestation increased by 33% compared to last year. This has led to over 15,000 fires already this August”, WWF-UK.

Let’s stand together to save the lungs of our planet by taking these easy everyday actions:

  1. Educate yourself: The Amazon contains over a third of the world’s remaining rainforest, but we’re losing it fast. The more we know about the root causes of this destruction, the more we can put the issues in the spotlight and help spread the word. Watch this to learn about the threats faced by the Amazon.
  2. Spread the word: Make sure to educate others while educating yourself. Discuss with your teachers, families and friends about the urgent threats facing the the Amazon and it’s people. Share this newsletter with them and let more people become aware about different ways of celebrating World Amazon Day!

This World Amazon Day let’s learn a fun filled DIY Activity! Here is your chance to grow your very own rainforest in a bottle!

Watch this easy video to make your own rainforest in a bottle and celebrate World Amazon Day by learning more about rainforests!

Click photos and send them to us at oneplanetacademy@wwfindia.net Best entries of your rainforests to be displayed on our social media.

Let’s take this pop quiz and test your knowledge about the world’s most interesting rainforest!

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