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Amazon Watch

The Amazon: A Global Treasure

Rainforests sustain us. They help regulate the global climate and are vital to maintaining the earth’s fragile balance. The Amazon rainforest is the world’s largest and most biodiverse tropical rainforest, covering an area larger than the continental United States. It houses one-third of the Earth’s plant and animal species and produces one-fifth of all its flowing fresh water.

The Amazon rainforest is in crisis. It has been for some time. For nearly a quarter century, Amazon Watch has sounded the alarm that the forest and its Indigenous inhabitants are at extreme risk, and thus the future of our entire planet.

For years, the plight of the Amazon was not known or talked about on a global scale. But in August of 2019, all of this changed. The world reacted to the news of the fires that swept across the Amazon in a way it never had before. The world became aware and took action. Now, there is no looking back.

Nearly 400 distinct Indigenous peoples depend on the Amazon rainforest for their physical and cultural survival. With global deforestation contributing 20–25 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions, Amazon Watch and our Indigenous partners are providing a service to all humanity as we together seek to defend the rainforest. Each of us can take action. We may be the last generation that has a chance to protect this precious gem of our world’s cultural and ecological heritage – an irreplaceable source of life and inspiration.

Our Mission

Amazon Watch is a nonprofit organization founded in 1996 to protect the rainforest and advance the rights of Indigenous peoples in the Amazon Basin. We partner with Indigenous and environmental organizations in campaigns for human rights, corporate accountability, and the preservation of the Amazon’s ecological systems.

Our Vision

We envision a world where the collective rights of Indigenous peoples and the rights of nature are respected and where healthy forests, biodiversity, and the global climate are fully protected by governments, corporations and civil society.

We strive for a movement of global solidarity rooted in interconnectedness and practices of decolonization to respect the rights of Indigenous peoples and to permanently protect the Amazon rainforest which is perilously close to a tipping point of ecological collapse. We believe that Indigenous self-determination is a critical component of any successful conservation strategy for the Amazon, and see that Indigenous knowledge, cultures and traditional practices contribute greatly to sustainable and equitable stewardship of Mother Earth.

We seek solutions that will lead to the transformation of our economic, financial and political governance systems to ones that are life-affirming and regenerative. We commit, in the spirit of partnership and mutual respect, to support Indigenous, forest, and traditional peoples in their efforts to protect life, land, and culture in accordance with their aspirations and needs, by advocating for true solutions that respect the principles of climate justice.

Decolonization Guidelines and JEDI Goals

We recognize that the destruction of the Amazon is rooted in historic and perpetual colonization that began with the Spanish and Portuguese, and continues via government and corporate exploitation. The driving factors of colonial, white-supremacist and capitalist ideologies provide the justification for treating Indigenous peoples and their territories as sacrifice zones. As Amazon Watch grows in staff and influence, the organization is adopting new measures and practices to actively work for decolonization – both interpersonally among staff, team, and partners – and institutionally with hiring, fundraising, organizational relationships, strategies and campaigns. Amazon Watch commits to these critical decolonization guidelines and justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) goals:

Decolonization Guidelines

  • Shift power to frontline communities
  • Lift up Indigenous knowledge and Indigenous systems thinking
  • Build equitable relationships
  • Practice humility and integrate lessons learned
  • Engage in clear and transparent communication
  • Be accountable to harm

JEDI Goals

  • Staff diversity at every level and on every team of the organization
  • Commitment to ongoing learning and transformation
  • Institutional implementation and active practice of JEDI objectives
  • Multi-lingual accessibility
  • A culture of self and collective care
  • Equitable timelines and expectations
  • Skills and systems for constructive feedback and generative conflict


Amazon Watch is building on more than 25 years of radical and effective solidarity with Indigenous peoples across the Amazon Basin.



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