Action by indigenous people has reduced deforestation in Brazil, says Greenpeace

By agency reporter
November 10, 2020

Deforestation in the Karipuna Indigenous land of Brazil has significantly reduced since the Karipuna Indigenous People started forest monitoring, reported their findings to authorities and demanded legal action against invasions and deforestation, according to a recent analysis of satellite images and investigations by Greenpeace Brazil. The Karipuna have been working with Greenpeace Brazil and the Brazilian NGO Indigenist Missionary Council (CIMI) for almost three years on efforts to end deforestation and illegal invasions for land grabbing on their protected land.

“We have been fighting against the destruction of our territory for a long time, so we urge the authorities to reject and repress organised crime that cuts down our forest; and even knowing that there are still invaders in it, we hope that actions to combat deforestation continue and that we can live in peace, according to our customs and traditions”, said Adriano Karipuna, leader of the Karipuna Indigenous People.

According to the analysis done by Greenpeace Brazil, 532 hectares of forest within the Karipuna Indigenous land was deforested between August 2019 and July 2020, 49.1 per cent less than the same period in the previous year. Recent monitoring identifies there is still deforestation and land grabbing activities in the Karipuna Indigenous land, which were reported to local authorities in early November, but it also reveals a downward trend. The positive result is expected to be confirmed by official data to be released by the Brazilian Institute of Space and Research (INPE).

As a reaction to several crime reports from the Karipuna People, CIMI and Greenpeace Brazil over the past two years, police operations have been carried out, resulting in the arrest of people invading the Karipuna land, as well as the confiscation of materials used for logging. The Karipuna land has been one of the most threatened Indigenous lands in the region. This news comes at a time when deforestation rates continue to increase dramatically in the whole Brazilian Amazon and shows that monitoring and legal actions followed by law enforcement operations can guarantee the protection of Indigenous lands.

“Amidst the chaos produced by the Bolsonaro government’s anti-environmental agenda in the Brazilian Amazon, the push back on the environmental crimes in the Karipuna land can and should be a reference of how to fight invasion and destruction of Indigenous lands. Instead of trying to hide the truth of destruction, the Bolsonaro government must fulfill its constitutional duty and protect Indigenous lands from those who keep on threatening the forest and its People”, said Danicley de Aguiar, Senior Forest Campaigner at Greenpeace Brazil.

The monitoring operations of the Karipuna Indigenous People are part of the All Eyes on the Amazon project, which is led by Greenpeace Netherlands and Hivos together with nine human and Indigenous rights, environmental, science and technology organisations, and supports Indigenous communities to perform forest monitoring with high end technology. The protection of Indigenous rights and lands is one of the best ways to protect the forest and biodiversity and is vital in the fight against the climate crisis. Greenpeace demands a permanent protection plan for the Karipuna territory, and for all Indigenous lands in Brazil.

* Greenpeace International https://www.greenpeace.org/international/


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