Photo by Amazon Frontlines
Photo by Amazon Frontlines

Mitch Anderson

Founder / Executive Director

Amazon Frontlines


Founder / Executive Director


Amazon Frontlines









What makes Mitch Anderson a Global Shaker?

To understand a problem, you have to experience the problem.

This is something strident campaigner, political commentator and indigenous advocate Mitch Anderson has taken to heart. He and his team – Amazon Frontlines, a collective of human rights lawyers, environmental activists, forest specialists, journalists, environmental health scientists and farmers — not only defend the Amazon, but also live and work within it.

As Executive Director of Amazon Frontlines, Anderson runs fights legal battles to defend indigenous rights to land, life and cultural survival in the Amazon. The organisation says its most profound question is how to “best, most honestly and most effectively” support the indigenous populations in struggles to protect thousands of years of indigenous science and spiritual knowledge, and challenge rampant pollution by oil companies.

In its most high-profile intervention, the organisation supported Nemonte Nenquimo and the Waorani people in a battle against the Ecuadorian Goverment over exploitation of their land for petrol.

Anderson moved to Ecuador in 2011 to begin a clear water project with four indigenous tribes — a collaboration which has now formalised into the Ceibo Alliance. 1000 water systems in over 50 indigenous villages have to date been built.

He regularly commentates on indigenous affairs in mainstream medium, including articles for the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation and for newswire Reuters. University UCLA describes him as someone with “extensive experience” of supporting indigenous peoples in their territorial defense efforts, “including mapping initiatives, environmental monitoring, land patrols, legal trainings and direct action.”

“I think that the fate of the Amazon rainforest is in the hands of the indigenous youth, the next generation of leaders, and how they navigate this complex reality that they’re living in,” Anderson said in the Green Dreamer podcast.

“The youth do not have the same relationship with the land and the forest that the elders have. They have one foot in the forest and one foot in the city.

“What needs to happen is a massive investment in the indigenous youth across the Amazon, building out platforms and opportunities for them to propose bold, radical, alternative visions for the forest and their way of life in the 21st century.”

Similarly, he added: “We must prioritise listening to the people closest to the land.”

Tags: Activist, Amazon Rainforest, Ecuador, NGO, Tribes

Last updated: September 4, 2019