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CFR Education


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Social Studies, Economics, Civics, Geography

Resource Types

  • Video, 4 minutes, 49 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Digital Text
  • Lesson Plan

Regional Focus

Global, South and Central America


Google Docs, PDF

CFR Education: Fires in the Amazon - Sovereignty in a Global Era

Ask a Question

  • This video examines the economic and ecological importance of the Amazon rainforest to Brazil and to the world, highlighting the devastating fires in 2019 and the international community's response.
  • Below the video, teachers will find a linked lesson plan for grades 9-12, a linked discussion guide for higher education classes, and a short description that explains key terms and adds context.
  • This is the eighth section of the World 101 Building Blocks: Understanding the International System module.
Teaching Tips


  • This video has citations from reputable organizations.
  • This video has a transcript that can be downloaded as a PDF.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should have a basic understanding of the sovereignty of nations and international agreements.
  • Students need to understand why burning forests can contribute to climate change.
  • The lesson plan and discussion questions apply to more than one section of the module.


  • Students can watch the video at home to prepare for an in-class discussion about how climate change can impact international relations in the future.
  • Teachers can pause the video at certain moments in order to reinforce key concepts.
  • This video can supplement a lesson on different types of carbon sinks and why they're important.
  • This video can enhance a classroom discussion on the Amazon rainforest's importance to the Indigenous people who live there, global biodiversity, and the global greenhouse gas budget.
Scientist Notes
This resource video discusses the complexity of sovereignty in an increasingly globalist world, and especially how the actions of one country can affect us all. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-1 Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Civics
      • D2.Civ.5.9-12 Evaluate citizens' and institutions' effectiveness in addressing social and political problems at the local, state, tribal, national, and/or international level.
    • Dimension 2: Economics
      • D2.Eco.1.9-12 Analyze how incentives influence choices that may result in policies with a range of costs and benefits for different groups.
    • Dimension 2: Geography
      • D2.Geo.6.9-12 Evaluate the impact of human settlement activities on the environmental and cultural characteristics of specific places and regions.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.3 Evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, assessing the stance, premises, links among ideas, word choice, points of emphasis, and tone used.
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