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Brazil’s government has weakened environmental and Indigenous rights civil institutions who work to protect the Amazon and its people. This has enabled loggers, cattle ranchers and miners to seize lands in the Amazon, burn and fell trees.

Brazil’s President Bolsonaro has deliberately cut funding and undermined civilian institutions such as Brazil’s National Indian Foundation (FUNAI) and the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA), both of which help monitor and protect the Amazon.

Since these organisations had their funding cut in December 2018, land clearing in the Amazon has increased 80 per cent.

In May 2019 we warned the Brazilian government that the situation for Indigenous Peoples and the Amazon forest would become untenable in the dry season unless they changed course. Now that has become a tragic reality, and the forest is being devoured by fire.

This is both an environmental catastrophe and a human rights crisis. We need to act now. Protecting the rights of Indigenous Peoples is vital to protecting the Amazon.

Demand President Bolsonaro reinstate funding to organisations monitoring and preventing land invasions in the Amazon.