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.
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.
Nearly 400 distinct indigenous peoples depend on the Amazon rainforest for their physical and cultural survival. At current rates of deforestation, nearly 50 percent of the Amazon could be lost or severely degraded by the year 2020, and the vast majority will no longer be in a pristine state.
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.
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.
In the Amazon region of Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, Amazon Watch is working directly with indigenous communities to build local capacity and advance the long-term protection of their lands. In partnership with communities, non-governmental organizations, concerned shareholders and citizens, we utilize the following strategies:
- Campaign to persuade decision-makers in corporations, international financial institutions and governments to honor the rights of indigenous peoples over "development" decisions in their territories and to rectify past harms, for example in areas devastated by oil drilling. Through media exposure, legal
- Strengthen capacity of indigenous communities and partner organizations in the Amazon to better advocate for their own rights at local, national and international forums. Through training in legal skills, advocacy, media and technology as well as the donation of equipment, we help our indigenous partners assert their collective voice and advance their own vision for their territories.
- Seek permanent protection for threatened areas and vulnerable indigenous populations in the Amazon rainforest. In partnership with ally organizations in South America, we champion ecologically sound alternatives and solutions to industrial and fossil-fuel intensive economic "development."
- Educate corporate executives, shareholders, public officials and the general public using media coverage, websites, publications and documentary films. By building awareness and promoting green economic alternatives to the current export-oriented development model, we are helping to bring about a shift within key institutions and society.
- Amazon Watch
- Main office:
- 2201 Broadway, Suite 508
- Oakland, CA 94612
- Tel: +1.510.281.9020
- Fax: +1.510.281-9021
- Washington, DC office
- 1350 Connecticut Avenue, NW Suite 1100 Washington, DC 20036
- Tel: +1.202.785.3962
- www.amazonwatch.org - Stand: 11.05.2010