Anna Kusmer explains that although the Brazilian Amazon is incredibly vulnerable to destruction, the legal recognition of Indigenous land rights could offer it much-needed protection. In 2020, the Brazilian Amazon was hit hard by forest fires and illegal deforestation, mining, exploitation, and trafficking–- more than any other year in recent history. Sometimes, as many as 30,000 fires were burning at once, set intentionally, and illegally, by people who were trying to clear the forest to make room for “productive” industry like farming and livestock. This violence against the Brazilian Amazon not only leads to biodiversity loss but also raises climate change concerns. According to Kusmer, the best solution to this issue is homologation, the legal acknowledgement that the land belongs to Indigenous peoples. Indigenous stewardship of the land has been shown to preserve biodiversity, conserve natural resources, produce fewer carbon emissions, among other benefits. Although Indigenous peoples of the Brazilian Amazon still face political roadblocks and little governmental support, they continue to take care of the land the same way they have for generations. Photo credit: Andre Penner/AP