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The Amazon is in crisis

The Amazon is being deliberately destroyed, often to make way for products sold across the world. Trees that have stood for hundreds of years are being chopped down and devastating fires lit to clear the ground.

Deforestation in the Amazon is increasing. 2021 had the highest rates of deforestation in 15 years, and was a 22% increase from the previous year. This is devastating the lands of Indigenous peoples and local communities, killing wildlife, and worsening the climate crisis.

Every hectare of the Amazon that is destroyed pushes the rainforest closer to collapse. And if we lose the Amazon, we lose the fight against climate change. 

But we can all be a part of the solution. Whether it’s standing with Indigenous peoples at this challenging time, calling for our Government to make sure the UK is not contributing to the destruction, or simply spreading the word – inaction is not an option.


Amazon fires destruction


Our government has promised to protect forests like the Amazon – an essential ally against climate breakdown.

But UK products are still fuelling fires in places like the Amazon. And, as they stand, new laws proposed in the Government’s Environment Bill won’t stop the Amazon being destroyed for products sold right here in the UK.

The best way to make sure government deliver on their climate promises is through your local MP.

Take a minute to tell them we won’t forget.


Deforestation next to a soybean plantation along the BR-364 highway near the Jamari River, Rondônia.


Many of the immediate threats to the Amazon are symptoms of a deeper illness. Globally we’re using the planet’s resources faster than nature can restore itself.  The destruction of amazing rainforests like the Amazon is primarily driven by the growing global demand for products such as beef, soy, palm oil, timber, cocoa, and gold – part of which are sold in the UK.

What we do here in the UK impacts the Amazon, from the food we buy to our financial decisions.  We can all play a part in building a better world by making small changes to our daily lives. Download WWF-UK’s My Footprint app to discover a variety of challenges you can take part in, to reduce your impact on the environment.

Download the app

A group of local community leaders and 'environmental promoters' conduct an environmental survey of the forest on the farm of Marco Aurelio Zapata

3. Donate to our Amazon appeal

Last year, your donations helped us respond to the emergency in the Amazon: supporting and training local fire brigades, providing drones for Indigenous peoples to monitor where deforestation and land-grabbing are taking place, and providing emergency relief to people directly impacted by the fires.   

As the threats to the Amazon increase, we need your support more than ever. 

At WWF we’re committed to working with partners, Indigenous peoples, and local communities to protect the Amazon and its wildlife for future generations. Your donation will make a huge difference right now to:  

  • Support nature defenders such as Indigenous communities to monitor and defend their territories and uphold their land rights  
  • Assist local groups to monitor and combat fires and deforestation 
  • Monitor and protect priority wildlife populations and habitats  
  • Campaign for an immediate end to deforestation and illegal mining in the Amazon 
  • Support the creation of sustainable livelihoods in the Amazon.  

donate now

Macaws at the Tambopata National Reserve in the Peruvian Amazon Basin. Peru.

4. Educate yourself

The Amazon contains over a third of the world’s remaining rainforest, but we’re losing it – fast.   

Protecting the Amazon is about more than just conserving a forest, it’s about saving our one shared home. As well as being an irreplaceable home for wildlife, Indigenous peoples and local communities, the Amazon plays a crucial role in our planet’s health and the future survival of us all. 

Deforestation is one of the biggest threats to the climate, to wildlife and to our health – the more we destroy forests the more we risk dangerous climate change. The Amazon is dangerously close to a tipping point, where it will no longer be able to sustain itself. If we push the Amazon beyond its tipping point, it will collapse – with devastating impacts for our climate and our ability to limit global warming to below 1.5 degrees. 

Indigenous peoples and local communities are at the forefront of protecting the Amazon. But they are finding it increasingly tough to cope with the pressures of land grabbing, fires, deforestation, illegal mining, and most recently Covid-19.   

But the more we know about our forests – and the causes of their destruction – the more we can help spread the word and put a spotlight on the issues. 

Bitaté Uru Eu Wau Wau, the president of the Uru Eu Wau Wau Idigenous People's Association

5. Be part of the change

Become a member and support our work in the Amazon. We work with civil society groups, business and local governments in the Amazon to increase commitments towards conservation and reversing climate change. We can’t do this without our supporters. From tackling unsustainable practices, to supporting communities in their defence of their Amazon livelihoods, this work is more important now than ever.

We’re all in this fight together.

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