Indigenous Lands in Brazil in Jeopardy. ~ Mongabay

Via elephant journal
on Jul 30, 2012
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A directive signed last week by Brazil’s Solicitor-General could put indigenous land rights at risk, according to human rights group Survival International.

The directive “opens up all indigenous areas to mineral, dams, roads, military bases and other developments of ‘national interest’ without the need to consult with or address concerns of indigenous peoples,” according to an expert familiar with the directive who asked to remain anonymous. It also restricts demarcation of new indigenous territories.

Survival International called the move “disastrous” citing the plight of the Guarani tribe, some members of which are waiting “in roadside camps or overcrowded reserves” for their ancestral lands to be mapped and allocated.

This directive puts our survival in extreme danger. We are being ignored as human beings, as the first occupants of this land. It is the start of the extermination of indigenous people.

~ Guarani spokesman (as quoted by Survival International)

According to the indigenous lands expert reached by, the directive was originally intended to overcome issues in implementing the Raposa/Serra do Sol indigenous area in the northern Brazilian state of Roraima, but the powerful ruralista bloc in Congress pushed to apply the directive to all indigenous areas. The ruralistas also successfully pushed for a weakening of the country’s Forest Code, which mandates how much forest landowners are required to protect, earlier this year. (The final version of the Forest Code is pending).

However, outcry over the directive led Brazil’s Public Prosecutors’ Office to suspend the measure is pending a court ruling on the issue. Survival International and several Brazilian indigenous organizations have called for the directive to be revoked entirely.

The directive was passed only a month after an association of more than 1,200 tropical scientists convening at the annual meeting of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation sounded the alarm on the potential development.

Indigenous territories cover roughly 22 percent of the legal Brazilian Amazon. Areas managed by indigenous groups have lower deforestation rates than unprotected forests.

Download your free copy of Survival International’s Walk the Talk, a guide to help you further the movement for tribal peoples by getting active in your local area.

Adapted from Brazil decree opens tribal lands to mining, dams in ‘national interest’ by Rhett Butler, provides news, information, and analysis on environmental issues, with a special focus on tropical rainforests. The web site features more than 70,000 photos and has a section about forests for children available in nearly 40 languages.




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2 Responses to “Indigenous Lands in Brazil in Jeopardy. ~ Mongabay”

  1. […] And based upon how my mind and body responded after a month of post Rio+20 field research in Brazil, this experiment in well-being is working. The life force that had been sucked out of me by bad […]

  2. […] have found time and again that the basic menus of many agricultural, indigenous groups lean toward vegan, particularly where meat is scarce and pricey. But sometimes being spoiled for […]