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Cover photo: COCOMASUR, Colombia

In December 2023, EarthRights International, together with 25 indigenous, rural and afro-descendant communities and organisations from Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador, the United States, Guatemala, Honduras and Peru, presented before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights the Amicus Curiae “Protection of the rights of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in the face of the impacts of climate change”, as a contribution to the process of the Advisory Opinion on Climate Emergency and Human Rights requested by the Republic of Colombia and the Republic of Chile on January 9, 2023.

Although they have contributed the least to the climate crisis, Indigenous and Tribal peoples, as well as rural communities, are the main victims of its consequences.

The close relationship of these peoples with their territories and natural resources, on which their livelihoods depend, makes them particularly vulnerable to climate impacts, putting their traditional ways of life at risk and threatening their rights to self-determination and cultural identity.


  • The Amazon covers 6.7 million km² and extends across 9 countries in South America, including Brazil, Peru, Colombia and Ecuador.
  • There is a network of 7,000 indigenous territories and protected areas covering approximately 50% of the Amazon rainforest, which have been fundamental for conserving its ecosystems and biological richness.
  • Eighteen per cent of the Amazon forest has been deforested, and another 17% is degraded, mainly due to logging, fossil fuels, and agribusiness, which has a serious environmental impact.
  • Deforestation is one of the main causes of climate change, producing approximately 10% of the world’s current carbon emissions.

>Photo: FENAMAD, Perú