Tommaso Protti spent months photographing the way deforestation and violence are affecting the indigenous peoples of the Amazon and the environment they depend on.
As I write this, the Brazilian section of the Amazon rain forest is still actively being consumed by flames. The tropical South American forest, which covers a remarkable 2.1 million square miles in total, is home to one-10th of the world’s species—a wealth of biodiversity. Since the 1960s, the Amazon has been slowly and steadily cleared to make room for cattle and soybean production. And over the past two weeks, 76,000 distinct fires (the result of human interference and the dry season) have set the Amazon’s trees ablaze, contributing to a loss of 7,000 square miles of forest—approximately the size of New Jersey. The result? A tree-light forest, whose lungs are now unable to effectively inhale our planet’s dangerous carbon dioxide emissions.