Brasilia – Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva announced the demarcation of two new indigenous reserves, considered major barriers to deforestation, during an Amazon Day ceremony.
“The Amazonian people deserve to have their rights guaranteed for a better life…”, Lula said, after signing the homologation decrees in the Planalto presidential palace.
The government demarcated the lands of Rio Gregório, in the city of Tarauacá, state of Acre (north); and Acapuri de Cima, in the municipality of Fonte Boa, Amazonas (north).
These are 187,000 and 18,000 hectares respectively, destined for the Yawanawá and Katukina peoples, the first, and the Kokama, the second.
They are the first two lands of a group of eight that will be approved until the end of the year, according to the Minister of the Peoples.
Indigenous bloods, Sonia Guajajara. “If there is no future for the Ama-
zone and its people, there will not be for the planet either…”, Lula assured. The leftist had already demarcated another six reserves in April, the first after five years.
His far-right predecessor, Jair Bolsonaro, kept his promise not to give “not an inch” to the original peoples.
Scientists consider indigenous reserves, protected by the State, as barriers against deforestation and keys in the fight against global warming.
The approval guarantees aboriginal peoples the right to occupy their ancestral lands, as well as the exclusive use of natural resources.
According to data from Funai, a public body for the protection of indigenous peoples, Brazil has almost 800 indigenous reserves, which occupy 13.75% of the country’s territory.
According to the latest census, about 1.7 million indigenous people live in Brazil, out of the 203 million inhabitants.
The approvals occur while the Federal Supreme Court decides on the “temporary framework”, a thesis that only recognizes indigenous rights over the territories they occupied when the Constitution was promulgated, in 1988.
This thesis, defended by the powerful agribusiness, is rejected by the indigenous people, who argue that they were expelled throughout history from their ancestral territories, especially during the military dictatorship (1964-1985).
In this context, the Government announced that deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon fell 66% in August. “In August we registered a 66.11% reduction in deforestation” in the Amazon, compared to August 2022, said the Minister of the Environment, Marina Silva at the event.
The data constitutes an achievement for the Government, because this time of year, with drier weather, is usually the season of greatest destruction in the Amazon biome.