Apple has confirmed that they will be donating to help in restoring and preserving the Amazon rainforest that is currently ravaged by fires. Apple CEO Tim Cook has confirmed this in a tweet, though the exact donation amount has not been made public yet. This makes Apple one of the first tech companies to announce donations towards helping in limiting the damage that is being caused by the fires and in restoring the biodiversity. “It’s devastating to see the fires and destruction ravaging the Amazon rainforest, one of the world’s most important ecosystems. Apple will be donating to help preserve its biodiversity and restore the Amazon’s indispensable forest across Latin America,” Tim Cook said in a Tweet.
Incidentally, a United States Securities And Exchange Commission (SEC) filing on August 26 indicates that Tim Cook has also donated 23,700 Apple shares to charity, and these are currently valued at around $5 million. This donation has no apparent connection with the announcement for the donation for the Amazon forest. Earlier, the Earth Alliance environmental foundation created by Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio and philanthropists Laurene Powell Jobs and Brian Sheth, has already pledged $5 million in aid. It is called the Amazon Forest Fund, and the mission is to repair the rainforest.
The situation is quite bleak, according to the Los Angeles Times. The report suggests that the fire is spreading across the Amazon rain forest and continues to burn, thereby injecting millions of tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. But scientists, the report says, are equally worried about the fact that these fires represent a dramatic increase in illegal deforestation that could deprive the world of a critical green cover buffer against climate change. More than a soccer field’s worth of Amazon forest is falling every minute, according to Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research, known as INPE, as per the report. Initial estimates from the satellite data has revealed that deforestation in June rose almost 90% compared with the same month last year, and by 280% in July.
This is not the first time that Apple has focused on the environment. The company’s relentless focus towards sustainability and other initiatives also involved celebrating the 103rd anniversary of the US National Park Service earlier this month. There were special Apple Pay donation programs, Apple Watch Activity Challenge and special content collections on Apple Podcasts, Apple Books and Apple Music. Apple also made a $10 donation to the National Park Foundation for each purchase made with Apple Pay at an Apple Store, apple.com or the Apple Store app in the US between August 17 to August 25.
The government of Brazil has already rejected a $20 million package by the G7 countries, because of the very public feud between President Jair Bolsonaro and French President Emmanuel Macron. It must be noted that as much as $1 billion was donated to restore the Notre-Dame in Paris, after it was engulfed in flames earlier this year.
The Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) has been monitoring the fires burning in the Amazon. The CAMS Global Fire Assimilation System (GFAS) which uses satellite observations to estimate emissions from fires says they calculated that the fires in Amazonas released approximately 25 megatonnes of carbon dioxide between August 1 and August 26.