Amazon Watch: Advancing the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in the Amazon Basin

Amazon Watch was founded in 1996 to protect the rainforest and advance the rights of indigenous peoples in the Amazon Basin. Amazon Watch partners with indigenous and environmental organizations in Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, and Colombia in campaigns for human rights, corporate accountability and the preservation of the Amazon's ecological systems. Firmly grounded in the principles of grassroots organizing, Amazon Watch is well-positioned to oppose chronic and worsening threats to the region’s forests and communities, while addressing the emerging challenges of climate change and shifting geopolitics.

As the world's largest tropical forest, the Amazon is indispensable for maintaining global climate stability. Yet today its diverse communities and pristine ecosystems are increasingly threatened by oil drilling, mining, industrial agriculture, hydroelectric dams, and road building. Unless these threats are successfully challenged, this culturally and biologically critical region is at risk of potentially irreversible destruction, with severe consequences for its indigenous stewards and our collective wellbeing.

Amazon Watch challenges toxic industries and their government and corporate backers by exposing the true costs of their actions and promoting the rights of indigenous and traditional peoples. Amazon Watch coordinate with affected forest communities to confront and defeat industrial projects that impact their territories and environmental health, while advancing indigenous-led alternative development solutions to climate change and unsustainable resource extraction. Their work reflects an indigenous vision for alternative, green development that supports autonomous solar power and expanded capacity for indigenous leaders - especially women and youth - to maintain their autonomy and territorial stewardship.

Alongside the global climate justice movement, Amazon Watch strives to address the reality that the planet’s most vulnerable communities, such as indigenous peoples and people of color, bear the brunt of environmental destruction, corporate greed, and climate change, while also being excluded from top-down solutions. They believe that our collective response to climate change and environmental destruction must also redress past harm, bring bad actors to justice, support local activists who put their lives on the line, and build global awareness and solidarity. 

Amazon Watch works to defeat the further encroachment of extractive industry and halt rights rollbacks by serving as a bridge for crucial voices and movements waging frontline struggles, amplifying their impact by providing communications and logistical support as well as funding for indigenous-led campaigns and movements. Their expertise in the field and twenty years of history as a principled indigenous ally have uniquely positioned the organization to compellingly shape the global narrative on why we must defend the Amazon in a manner that is both effective and just.