Amazon Defenders Fund

Direct Support for Amazonian Indigenous Peoples

Since 2006 Amazon Watch has regularly responded to the urgent needs of our grassroots partners through our Regranting Program. By channeling small grants assembled through institutional and private funders, we have consistently responded to timely and strategic requests from our partners for innovative local initiatives and urgent actions. This year, we formalized this program into our new Amazon Defenders Fund.

With the Fund, we seek to further expand our regranting process, growing our commitment to strengthening the capacity and opportunities of Amazonian indigenous organizations and local NGOs. Our partners seek funding for diverse projects and activities: legal defense; travel to relevant advocacy spaces; convening indigenous-led workshops and community assemblies; community-led territorial and ecosystem mapping; land titling projects; community-led organizing; communications initiatives; non-violent direct actions; and field monitoring of industrial activities and their impacts. With this support, they can continue to defend their collective rights, rainforest territories, culture and livelihoods.

Update: This fund is also providing COVID-19 rapid-response to projects on the ground.

Brazil's majestic Xingu River, at grave risk from the Belo Monte dam. Photo credit: Rafael Salazar

Among the support we provided this past year we highlight:

  • Brazil – Amazon Watch has a longstanding partnership with Brazil's Munduruku nation, supporting their successful efforts to stop the São Luiz do Tapajós mega-dam in 2016. This year we supported an assembly of Munduruku youth with Munduruku chiefs to exchange experiences, knowledge and traditional medicine, convened in Sawré Muybu, an untitled, contested indigenous territory under immense pressures from extractive industries.
  • Ecuador – After Ecuador's government refused to make any progress or commitments in national talks with the indigenous movement, Amazon Watch provided critical support for indigenous leaders to organize a 10,000 strong, 200+ mile march from the Amazon to Quito. At their historic meeting with President Moreno he committed to no new oil and gas projects without consultation.
  • Colombia – Continuing Amazon Watch's 20-year relationship with the U'wa people, we supported a delegation of newly-elected leaders to Bogotá for face-to-face planning with legal allies. The U'wa proposed a community workshop to build capacity around their pioneering indigenous rights case before the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights.
  • Peru – Amazon Watch has channelled regular funding to the Achuar People of the Pastaza River Basin for defense of their ancestral territory. We supported activities in favor of their Achuar Life Plan, strengthening their representative organization (FENAP) and promoting bilingual education.

If you would like more information on the Amazon Defenders Fund, please contact Angela Martínez at



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