Big Business is burning down our future

By Ginger Cassady

The “fire season” in the Amazon and Indonesian rainforests has just begun, but these fires aren’t natural — they’ve been intentionally set for greed and profit. Drought, along with the aggressive expansion of illegal burning, could mean this year’s fires are even more destructive than last year’s. 

The intentionally-set and preventable fires in the Amazon and Indonesian rainforests impact each and every one of us, from the air we breathe, to the clean water we drink, to the food we eat. These fires directly threaten Indigenous Peoples and the survival of critically endangered species like jaguars, tigers, and orangutans.

Last year, the whole world turned its attention to the fires raging through the Amazon rainforest. Because of people like YOU, we were able to TRIPLE our grants to the frontline and Indigenous communities in the Amazon where support was needed the most. And we were able to move some of the biggest corporations to take real, on-the-ground action for people and planet.

But there’s more work to be done. 

Right NOW, exactly one year later, the Amazon is on fire again, Indonesian rainforests are on fire again, and the devastation could be even bigger than last year.

And, you know what? The world isn’t taking notice. With so much going on, the destruction of the lungs of our planet is not front page news.
We need your help to tell corporations that the Amazon and Indonesian rainforests — all rainforests — are critical to our survival and we can’t afford to lose them. 


Big Agribusiness is using the global pandemic — and the lack of media coverage — to their advantage: moving in equipment, clearcutting land, and illegally setting forests on fire. In their relentless pursuit of profit, they’re pushing animals to the brink of extinction, stealing land from Indigenous communities during a pandemic, and ushering in climate chaos.

The mass scale burning of rainforests last year was just a preview of what’s to come this year. And right now, as Indigenous and local communities in the Amazon and Indonesia struggle to respond to the Covid-19 health crisis, corporations are taking their land for products like soy, beef, pulp & paper, and palm oil.

These communities are being forced to fight a war on two fronts.
It’s bad enough that land is stolen from Indigenous peoples and local communities but destroying rainforests takes livelihoods — and entire ways of living — down with it.

It’s toxic on every level.

1 million people had acute respiratory infections from last year’s fires in Indonesia. 1 million people! That’s BEFORE there was a pandemic attacking our very ability to breathe! Imagine how bad the air will be this year now that the fires in the Indonesian and Amazon rainforests are on track to break records.

Forest-destroying commodities like palm oil, soy, cocoa, pulp & paper, timber, and beef all fuel the big business of burning. Short-term profits by global corporations are bankrupting people and planet by setting fire to our world’s rainforests.

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire; and where there’s fire, there’s greed.

Big brands and banks are making massive profits as they drive the destruction of rainforests and the violation of human rights.
Global brands like Mars, Mondelēz, Nestlé, Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Nissin Foods, Kao, Ferrero, Colgate-Palmolive, and PepsiCo are driving the demand for cheap, rainforest-destroying commodities like palm oil, pulp and paper, beef, soy, and cocoa.

Meanwhile, some of the world’s biggest banks bet against people and planet by investing billions into both the aforementioned brands and the Big Agribusiness companies burning and bulldozing rainforests to supply them. Banks like Japan’s MUFG, Indonesia’s BNI, Malaysia’s CIMB, China’s ICBC, Singapore’s DBS, the Netherlands’ ABN Amro, and the United States’ JPMorgan Chase are some of the worst offenders.

Rainforest Action Network is standing up to these multinational companies and holding them accountable. We’ve moved corporations to end rainforest destruction in the Amazon and in Indonesia before and we’re doing it again: By following the money to get to the heart of rainforest destruction and by relying on supporters like you to pressure big companies to do the right thing.

We’re doing everything we can to hold these corporations accountable and to support the communities who rely on the Amazon and Indonesian rainforests, but we need you to take action and let these massive corporations know they’re on the wrong side of history; it’s high time they were on the side of forests, and all the lives and livelihoods that depend on them. Join us today, this week, and beyond; help us stop the fires and put an end to the big business of burning, once and for all.


Rainforests are irreplaceable.

When the Notre Dame Cathedral went up in flames, the world came together to support rebuilding it. We can’t replace the Amazon and Indonesian rainforests — but we can keep them from disappearing. We can keep them standing. Will you be part of the solution? Will you support our work to stop the fires and end the big business of burning? Because without the lungs of our planet, we can’t survive.

There’s no time left to lose. Together we can rein in corporate destruction and help keep forests standing for the benefit of all people and our whole planet.