CUPERTINO (CBS SF) – Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has joined the international outcry over the fires devastating the Amazon rainforest.
Cook announced Monday that Apple will be donating to fight the Amazon rainforest fires.
In a tweet, he said “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.”
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 (@tim_cook) August 26, 2019
According to an SEC filing, Cook donated 27,000 Apple shares to charity, which is roughly $5 million.
The donation comes after world leaders at the Group of Seven summit in Biarritz vowed to take steps to help Brazil battle the fires.
Facing international pressure, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is sending 44,000 troops to battle the blazes. Many believe local farmers intentionally set the fires, buoyed by Bolsonaro’s dismantling of his country’s environmental policies. About a third of the Amazon rainforest is in Brazilian territory.
“This year we had more devastation, more deforestation so the livestock can come,” Jarlene Gomes, a researcher who promotes sustainable farming told CBS News. Referring to the downed trees, she said, “So they have to take this mass and do something with that. And the easiest way is to burn it.”
On Sunday, actor Leonardo di Caprio’s environmental charity, Earth Alliance also pledged $5 million to help.
#EarthAlliance has formed an emergency Amazon Forest Fund with $5m to focus critical resources for indigenous communities and other local partners working to protect the biodiversity of the Amazon against the surge of fires. Learn more & donate: https://t.co/uG2WoEoKqx pic.twitter.com/IbcubQCO4v
— Earth Alliance (@earthalliance) August 25, 2019
So far, the United States has sent a 747 supertanker that can carry about 19,000 gallons of water per trip.
The Amazon rainforest is home to millions of insect species and thousands of species of animals. In addition to the threat to flora and fauna, scientists have linked the deforestation to extreme weather events and climate change.
Greenpeace released a statement, saying, “Forest fires and climate change operate in a vicious cycle: as the number of fires increase, so do greenhouse gas emissions, increasing the planet’s overall temperature and the occurrence of extreme weather events, such as major droughts.”