Environmental Threats over Amazonian Indigenous Lands

Ana C. Rorato, Michelle C.A. Picoli, Judith A. Verstegen*, Gilberto Camara, Francisco Gilney Silva Bezerra, Maria Isabel S. Escada

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This study investigates the main threats related to environmental degradation that affect Amazonian Indigenous Lands (ILs). Through a cluster analysis, we group ILs according to the set of common environmental threats that occur within and outside their limits. The results show that most of the 383 ILs are affected internally by a combination of different environmental threats, namely: deforestation, forest degradation, fires, mining, croplands, pastures, and roads. However, the ILs affected by multiple and relatively severe threats are mainly located in the arc of deforestation and the Roraima state. The threats related to forest loss (deforestation, forest degradation, and fires) are more intense in the ILs’ buffer zones than within, showing that ILs effectively promote environmental preservation. In the cluster analysis, we identified seven clusters that are characterized by common environmental threats within and around their limits, and, based on these results, we have outlined four environmental policy priorities to be strengthened and applied in Amazonian ILs: protecting ILs’ buffer zones; strengthening surveillance actions, and combating illegal deforestation, forest degradation, and mining activities in ILs; preventing and fighting fires; and removing invaders from all ILs in the Amazon. In this study, we warn that the threats presented make the Indigenous peoples in the Amazon more vulnerable. To guarantee indigenous peoples’ rights, illegal actions in these territories and their surroundings must be contained, and quickly.
Original languageEnglish
Article number267
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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