We are losing the world's tropical rainforest at an alarming rate, with major repercussions for the entire planet.
The Amazon basin has already lost at least fifteen percent of its forest cover and an equal area has been degraded. Deforestation is fueled by shortsighted industrial "development" projects such as large-scale agriculture, dams, roads and oil and gas pipelines. These mega-projects open up pristine rainforest areas to resource extraction, cattle ranching, poaching and pollution with devastating effects for indigenous communities and biodiversity.
Carbon emissions from deforestation contribute significantly to climate change, while climate change is making tropical rainforests more vulnerable to forest fires and droughts, leading to more deforestation. This positive feedback loop threatens the very survival of the Amazon rainforest and life on our fragile planet.
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.
We envision a world that honors and values cultural and biological diversity and the critical contribution of tropical rainforests to our planet's life support system. We believe that indigenous self-determination is paramount, and see that indigenous knowledge, cultures and traditional practices contribute greatly to sustainable and equitable stewardship of the Earth. We strive for a world in which governments, corporations and civil society respect the collective rights of indigenous peoples to free, prior and informed consent over any activity affecting their territories and resources. We commit, in the spirit of partnership and mutual respect, to support our indigenous allies in their efforts to protect life, land, and culture in accordance with their aspirations and needs.