Brazilian authorities have launched a search operation for British Journalist Don Philip and Brazilian indigenous expert Bruno Araújo Pereira. The two were travelling through the Javari region of Amazonas state when they went missing on Sunday.

They were last seen in the Sao Rafael community, an area marked by violent conflicts between fishermen, poachers and government agents due to illegal logging, mining and poaching.

Philip, who is a regular contributor to The Guardian newspaper, was in the region as part of his research for his upcoming book on conservation.

Meanwhile, Pereira has been an advisor to the Univaja Association of Indigenous People in the Vale do Javari. He has spent several years working to protect tribes living in the Amazon rainforests.

Dom Phillips has lived in Brazil for over a decade and has written extensively on the Amazon. The two of them were returning by boat from the Vale do Javari when they went missing. They had also received threats from illegal fishermen and poachers days before the incident.

According to a report in The Guardian, the two were travelling in a new boat with 70 litres of gasoline – "sufficient for the trip" – and were using satellite equipment for communication. They were last sighted on Sunday morning, just downstream from Sao Rafael.

Federal police and the navy have been looking for the two in the remote region. Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch have requested Brazilian authorities to make use of "all available means" to find Phillips and Pereira.

Dom Phillips' wife, Alessandra Sampaio, in a statement has also urged authorities to intensify their search for the missing men stating that every second holds immense importance right now.

"Brazilian authorities, our families are in despair. Please answer the urgency of the moment with urgent actions," read the statement. "As I make this appeal, they have been missing for more than 30 hours ... [and] in the forest every second counts, every second could be the difference between life and death," Sampaio added.

British journalist Dom Phillips
British journalist Dom Phillips with respected indigenous expert Bruno Pereira in Brazil in 2019. Photo: AFP / Joao LAET