VICTORY: Huge Brazilian Indian Reserve Established in Disputed Amazon Rainforest

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil has ratified the Raposa Serra do Sol Indian Reserve, with a belated stroke of the pen granting protection to some 6,370 square-miles (16,498 square-kilometers) of Amazonian rainforest in Brazil's northern state of Roraima. After more than thirty years of struggle, the traditional land of 15,000 Macuxi, Patamona, Ingarico, Wapichana and Taurepang people has finally been officially and fully recognized as theirs.
Efforts to establish the Raposa Serra do Sol Indian Reserve have been one of the main struggles of the indigenous movement of Brazil for years. Violence and murder have marred this important justice and sustainability campaign, as ranchers and other economic interests have resisted the policy of recognizing and demarcating indigenous lands.


For over a decade Forests.org has been following and supporting this struggle, networking information on behalf of the campaign and helping to generate protest emails and letters. Grassroots efforts in Brazil coordinated by the Indigenous Council of Roraima (CIR) led the way, but international solidarity by the Rainforest Foundation – US, and to a lesser extent Forests.org and others, has certainly played its part.
Local indigenous communities are rejoicing at their victory. However, the situation remains tense as local politicians and rice growers continue to resist establishment of the reserve, with the local governor declaring a seven-day period of mourning! The threat of violence is very real.
Forests.org, working with Rainforest Foundation – US, will continue to monitor the situation in Roraima, letting the massive Forests.org worldwide network know of any new developments. But for now you are encouraged to celebrate this wonderful victory. Yet again global Internet based information and action networks have played a role in a major local human rights and environmental sustainability campaign victory.
The rainforest conservation movement of which YOU are a part is on a roll!
g.b.
More information from Rainforest Foundation – US:
Title: Raposa Serra do Sol, Brazil: President Lula da Silva Finally Puts Pen to Paper!
Source: Rainforest Foundation US – press release
Date: April 20, 2005
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 20, 2005
CONTACT:
Isabela Figueroa, Rainforest Foundation US
Tel: (212) 431 9098
Email: ifigueroa@rffny.org
On April 15th, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva finally announced the much anticipated demarcation of Raposa Serra do Sol (RSS) in Roraima state in northern Brazil. His ratification of “Portaria 534” ends a struggle of over thirty years to officially recognize the 4,317,984 acres of traditional land of the 15,000 Macuxi, Ingarik

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7 Responses

  1. craig hart says:

    This is wonderful news! I knew that president Luis would save the indigenous reserve, but his hesitance was a bit worrysome. I think he is doing the job, i only wish he was a little more firm in his opposition to illegal ranching,farming, and tree cutting. Nice job Luis, anyway!

  2. Marily says:

    Thanks for this good news. I hope it is a precursor of things to come, all the good efforts at preservation that are out there, struggling, not quitting or giving up hope (including ours, to save Clover valley–www.saveclovervalley.org). We are all applauding!
    Marilyn

  3. Penny says:

    Congratulations and thanks for your leadership, Glen. Penny

  4. Sarah says:

    Well done!
    But: a world with only dandelions and cockroaches would also have millions of other species (ok, probably small and VERY SMALL species, but still LIFE). As I say, the world will go on. The question is: do homo sapiens get
    to go on with it??
    Thanks for all your work
    Cheers
    Sarah

  5. Rev. Mark says:

    Dear Dr. Barry:
    great news – but I regret the omission of Sr. Dorothy Stang's name from
    these accounts. It is her assassination that expedited this social &
    environmental victory. It will be a great & glorious days when folk do
    not have to suffer to preserve & nurture our world…
    Sincerely
    Rev. Mark Mealing, Ph.D.

  6. Anne says:

    Dear Glen,
    Thank you for the email, it is nice to have some good news for a change. Proves to me anyway all your hard work and effort does pay off occasionally and as “ordinary” people, we can make a difference.
    Wish they would stop knocking down trees and pulling out hedges in towns and cities. Since I started my bird diary when I bought this house 20 years ago, the number of birds has definitely declined especially over the last 5 years. I am worried at the moment as 2 houses have changed hands the new owners are pulling out interior fittings, etc. and I am praying they stop there and don't start on the hedges and trees.
    Can Forests Org. mount a campaign to stop the destruction of trees and hedges everywhere please Can we not make them all “protected species” I have always loved “green”. When we have bad or windy weather birds and animals have somewhere to go when we have trees and hedges, also they give with the wind and do not “bang” all the time like fences or break. I cannot understand why people buy 1930's houses like mine and then “modernise” them. If they don't like gardening buy a flat. So many now have no front gardens just gravel or concrete to park cars on.
    Sorry rant over.
    I am proud to be part of your organisation and look forward to receiving your regular updates.
    Keep up the good work. At least I know there is 1 person out there who does care and is trying to stop the “rot”.
    Bye for now
    Ann

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