As devastating Amazon rainforests fires become a global cause for concern, one of the photographs shared by actor Leonardo Dicaprio has gone viral. Except that it turns out that the photos were clicked earlier and are not of the ongoing blaze.
DiCaprio shared a photo by another Instagram user Nick Rose, who had tagged him in it. The photo has since gone viral with the actor’s post getting over 2 million likes and it was shared on other social media platforms.
However, it has been pointed out that the image isn’t from the recent activity that has damaged the rainforest. In fact, the undated image, a stock photo by photo agency Alamy, was clicked by photographer Loren McIntyre.
But while the image may be dated, the preservation of Amazon rainforests is a matter of concern.
Wildfires raging in the Amazon rainforest have hit a record number this year, with 72,843 fires detected so far by Brazil’s space research center INPE. The surge marks an 83% increase over the same period of 2018, the agency said Tuesday, and is the highest since records began in 2013.
Wildfires have increased in Mato Grosso and Para, two states where Brazil’s agricultural frontier has pushed into the Amazon basin and spurred deforestation. Wildfires are common in the dry season, but are also deliberately set by farmers illegally deforesting land for cattle ranching.
Germany and Norway have announced the suspension of environmental funding for sustainability projects in Brazil’s forests, both saying his far-right administration isn’t committed to fighting deforestation.
Norway suspended funding to the Amazon Fund, which was created in 2008 to receive donations used to finance projects in the Amazon. Norway has been by far the biggest contributor, with $1.2 billion donated so far, followed by Germany at $68 million and Brazilian state oil giant Petrobras at $7.7 million.
Apart from helping nurture biodiversity, rainforests like the Amazon are also play an important role in regulating the world’s climate by absorbing solar radiation and acting as a sink for carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.