Brazil’s Indigenous lands and protected areas have experienced a massive surge in fires this year. Environmental campaigners claim ongoing fires in both the Amazon and Cerrado regions of Brazil are being lit deliberately to clear land for raising animals and growing crops. Many blame the current Brazilian administration, which monitors indigenous populations, the 306,000 Amazonian indigenous people, whose 422 demarcated territories make up 23 percent of the Brazilian Amazon, according to the Instituto Socioambiental. The problem centers on deforestation through the systematic chopping down of trees, which are either logged or burned, mostly to convert the land for raising cattle and growing crops. Sometimes forest land is cleared by landowners, however with the current Amazonian fires, two-thirds were on private lands, and in August 2018 there were 3,500 fires in 148 indigenous territories. The Brazilian constitution offers protections to both the environment and indigenous peoples, but local agencies often fail to safeguard either. About 300 different indigenous groups exist in Brazil, and for decades many of them have fought for the demarcation of their lands. The Brazilian constitution describes indigenous territories as areas where indigenous people can live permanently, that is, where they can practice their cultures and traditions. The Amazon still generates the rain that sustains it, but the removal of trees prompts precipitation to decline and, combined with warmer temperatures that make the ground dryer, may trigger parts of the forest to start dying off. Scientists have warned that the world’s largest rainforest – whose ability to absorb more than 20% of earth’s carbon dioxide and release oxygen is a critical element of the fight against climate change – may be approaching a tipping point in which much of it turns to savanna. At that stage, it could start contributing to global warming by emitting instead of removing greenhouse gases.