Matérias no Jornal

llegal loggers have put the survival of the last isolated indigenous groups increasingly at risk

Jan Rocha in São Paulo
The Guardian
Article history

Monday 27 April 2009 00.05 BST

Lost tribe found in Brazil

Members of an unknown Amazon basin tribe brandish weapons as a flight over the rainforest passes their settlement in 2008. Photograph: Reuters

The last isolated indigenous tribes, located deep in the Amazon rainforest, may need to be contacted for the first time to protect them from illegal loggers, according to Brazil‘s agency, Fundação Nacional do Indio (Funai).

The Funai official José Carlos Meirelles, who has been monitoring the groups along the border between Brazil and Peru for over 20 years, told the Guardian that he believes their survival is increasingly at risk.

The decision to make contact with the tribes is not one to be taken lightly. The last time isolated groups were contacted in the Amazon was in 1996, but the Korubo in the Javari valley have since suffered epidemics of malaria and hepatitis, resulting in many deaths.

Establishing contact, however, could be the only deterrent from the looming danger of loggers. If friendly contact were established, Funai would build a post inside their area to deter the loggers and offer healthcare, vaccinating tribe members against the many diseases that contact with the outside world inevitably brings.

The risk comes not only from the loggers, but gold prospectors and coca planters who have also invaded the region, bringing disease and violence.

Meirelles wants to see an international boycott of mahogany products: “Americans should know that with each mahogany coffin they use to bury a dead person, they are also burying two indians,” he warned. He said 80% of the world’s mahogany comes from the region where the isolated indians live, logged illegally, but sold to consumers in Europe, Asia and the USA through legal companies.

Meirelles, 60, spends most of his time almost as isolated as the tribes, living at a base deep in the forest, powered by solar energy, linked to Funai HQ in Brasilia by radio. He has acquired an intimate knowledge of the territory, trekking through the forest and travelling the rivers and inlets to record signs of their presence and map out the area they inhabit. This area is now officially recognised by the Brazilian government and designated as an indigenous area.

Over the years he has caught many glimpses of the tribes. At first, he says, they were hostile, but now they seem to realise that he does not wish them harm, but they never go near him: “They don’t want contact.” Meirelles said he has suffered over 30 bouts of malaria in the forest and last year survived a deep arrow wound when a tribesperson shot him, apparently mistaking him for a logger.

Another threat to survival is the increasing presence of international oil companies like Anglo-French Perenco, Canada’s Petrolifera and Brazil’s Petrobras, eager to drill in a huge oilfield located in the Peruvian Amazon. The Peruvian government at first denied there were any uncontacted tribes in the area, but has now admitted their existence.

Indigenous groups have already begun fleeing across the border, invading areas of isolated tribes on the Brazilian side, leading to conflicts and deaths.

“If this situation continues, contact will become inevitable, and it is better that it happens with us than with loggers or goldpanners,” says Meirelles.

Before any contact is made, Funai is organising meetings with anthropologists, NGOs, and especially with the accultured tribes living in the same Amazon area, to build up a consensus about how and what should be done.

Meirelles estimates that there are approximately 600 indigenous people on the Brazilian side, divided among four groups, and an unknown number on the Peruvian side. Some groups are nomadic, hunting, fishing and collecting fruits and nuts from the forest. Others are sedentary, growing crops and living in settlements of straw-roofed huts, like the ones who were filmed last year firing arrows at a Funai helicopter which overflew their area.

The Brazilian indigenous population is at least 500,000. Most are in the Amazon, speaking over 180 languages and dialects, at different stages of acculturation, but until contact is made, nobody knows the origin of these particular isolated groups.


At the first global gathering of Indigenous Peoples on climate change, participants were outraged at the intensifying rate of destruction the climate crisis is having on the Earth and all peoples.

Participants reaffirmed that Indigenous Peoples are most impacted by climate change and called for support and funding for Indigenous Peoples to create adaptation and mitigation plans for themselves, based on their own Traditional Knowledge and practices. Indigenous Peoples also took a strong position on emission reduction targets of industrialized countries and against false solutions.

The majority of those attending looked towards addressing the root problem – the burning of fossil fuels – and demanded an immediate moratorium on new fossil fuel development and called for a swift and just transition away from fossil fuels.

“While the arctic is melting, Africa is suffering from drought and many Pacific Islands are in danger of disappearing.  Indigenous Peoples are locked out of national and international negotiations,” stated Jihan Gearon, Native energy and climate campaigner of the Indigenous Environmental Network. “We’re sending a strong message to the next UN Framework Convention on Climate Change this December in Copenhagen, Denmark that business as usual must end, because business as usual is killing us.  Participants at the summit stood united on sending a message to the world leaders in Copenhagen calling for a binding emission reduction target for developed countries of at least 45% below 1990 levels by 2020 and at least 95% by 2050.”

“In Alaska, my people are on the front lines of climate change and are devastated by the fossil fuel industry,” related Faith Gemmill, Executive Director of Resisting Environmental Destruction on Indigenous Lands (REDOIL).  “Alaska natives network and we are fighting back.  We recently won a major battle last week as the District Court of Columbia threw out a plan to access 83 million acres of the Outer Continental Shelf that was driven by Shell Oil. Shell has a long history of human rights violations, for which many have suffered and died, like Ken Saro-Wiwa of the Ogoni People in the Niger Delta of Africa.”

Tom Goldtooth, Indigenous Environmental Network’s Executive Director, commented, “We want real solutions to climate chaos and not the false solutions like forest carbon offsets and other market based mechanisms that will benefit only those who are making money on those outrageous schemes ”  He added, “For example one the solutions to mitigate climate change is an initiative by the World Bank to protect forests in developing countries through a carbon market regime called Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation or REDD.”  He concluded, “Don’t be fooled, REDD does nothing to address the underlying drivers of deforestation.”

At a World Bank presentation at the global summit, Egberto Tabo, General Secretary of COICA, the Coordinating Body of Indigenous Organizations in the Amazon Basin denounced “the genocide caused by the World Bank in the Amazon.” Mr. Tabo also categorically rejected the inclusion of forests in the carbon market and the Bank’s funding of REDD. The World Bank’s representative, Navin Rai admitted that “the Bank has made mistakes in the past..We know that there were problems with projects like the trans-amazon highway.” But REDD, he argued would not be more of the same. However, indigenous leaders at the global summit were unconvinced by his assurances and the Work Bank presentation ended with a Western Shoshone women’s passionate appeal to the Bank to stop funding projects that endanger the survival of indigenous peoples.
Source: Global Justice Ecology
Published Monday, 27 April, 2009 – 13:19

Inquérito apura ligação de deputado com desmatamento ilegal
Supremo Tribunal Federal (STF) avalia denúncia de derrubada ilegal de 1,6 mil hectares de floresta nas fazendas do deputado federal Ernandes Amorim (PTB-RO), em Machadinho D`Oeste (RO). O parlamentar nega ser dono das áreas

MT promete orçamento para combate ao trabalho escravo
Discussões sobre agenda estadual do trabalho decente serviram para reafirmar consenso intersetorial em torno das medidas do plano estadual para a erradicação do trabalho escravo, que passa por um processo de rev isão

Ações contra demarcação pressionam comunidade na Bahia
Na mira de fazendeiros da região, comunidade Barra do Parateca, situada à margem do Rio São Francisco, aguarda a finalização de relatório técnico e a delimitação da área pelo Incra para titulação de território quilombola

MANAUS – A juíza da Vara Cível da Infância e Juventude, Carla Dias, determinou, ontem (16 de Abril), a permanência da criança da etnia ianomâmi, de um ano, no Hospital Infantil Dr. Fajardo, no Centro de Manaus, segundo informação do jornal Diário do Amazonas.

Para evitar que a família da menina indígena tente invadir a unidade, a magistrada pediu o auxílio da Polícia Militar (PM). A criança apresenta um quadro clínico de hidrocefalia, tuberculose, desnutrição e pneumonia, e está internada desde o dia 13 de março.

A decisão da Justiça contraria a vontade da família da menina, que solicitou a remoção dela para a aldeia Kona, em Santa Isabel do Rio Negro (a 631 quilômetros de Manaus). Segundo Termo de Declaração, traduzido pela Fundação Nacional do Índio (Funai), “a mãe, Kamila Ianomâmi, requer que sua filha seja imediatamente liberada do hospital, por quer voltar à aldeia, onde pretende que aconteça seu falecimento.

De acordo com a diretora do Hospital Dr. Fajardo, Glória Chíxaro, o estado da criança é estável e ela não corre risco de morte, se permanecer na unidade. Na sentença, a juíza Carla Dias ressaltou que o hospital deverá informar à Justiça quando a menina se recuperar. “Nós decidiremos se ela volta ou não para a aldeia”.

Fonte: Diário do Amazonas – RC

Para salvar a Amazónia é necessário remunerar os serviços efectuados pelos habitantes da floresta que a protegem, consideraram quinta-feira no Rio de Janeiro responsáveis políticos e económicos.

“A floresta do meu Estado, com um tamanho 16 vezes superior à Grã-Bretanha, pertence ao meu povo que presta um serviço ao Mundo”, declarou o governador do Estado do Amazonas, que cobre uma vasta área da floresta amazónica brasileira.

“Trabalhamos para combater o aquecimento climático mundial mas não temos mercado que pague os serviços ambientais efectuados pelos habitantes da floresta”, disse o governador Carlos Eduardo de Souza Braga, que falou durante um debate sobre o futuro da Amazónia, no âmbito da edição latino-americana do Fórum económico mundial.

Pamela Cox, Vice-Presidente do Banco Mundial para a América Latina e as Caraíbas, sublinhou que “toda a Europa ocidental cabe na Amazónia, que tem 40 por cento de área protegida e onde vivem 25 milhões de pessoas (em oito países) que devem viver e trabalhar”.

Segundo a mesma fonte, se a temperatura aumentar no Mundo, a “culpa não é apenas do Brasil”, onde se encontra 60 por cento da área da Amazónia.

“O Mundo está disposto a pagar para preservar a Amazónia? Porque razão o Brasil deve preservar a Amazónia para o resto do Mundo? Devemos ter um projecto duradouro e pagar para proteger a floresta”, sublinhou.

Cox acrescentou que a Noruega, Canadá e Alemanha já colaboram no Fundo para a Amazónia, criado em Agosto de 2008 pelo governo brasileiro, mas que isso é insuficiente e “que será necessária a colaboração do sector privado”.

O responsável do Banco Mundial afirmou que esta questão será discutida em Dezembro à Copenhaga, durante uma reunião crucial sobre as alterações climáticas.

Fonte: Lusa
Sexta-feira, 17 de Abr de 2009

Júri popular absolve comandante de barco que naufragou no Amazonas
MANAUS – O comandante do barco ‘Comandante Sales 2008’, Luis Sales da Silva, que naufragou em maio de 2008, no Amazonas, deixando 48 mortos e dois desaparecidos, foi absolvido por quatro votos a três, em júri popular realizado ontem (15), no município de Manacapuru (a 68 quilômet

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03 April 2009

At yesterday’s press conference at the Embassy of Brazil after the G20 summit, President Lula remarked that because the world financial crisis had originated in the richest countries, for the first time ever the developed and developing worlds had participated in a major international meeting on an equal footing – ‘There’s been no one claiming to know everything, as if we knew nothing,’ he said.

He added that although the International Monetary Fund and World Bank need more funds to help the poorest countries, at present the best way for the world’s richest countries to help the rest of the world would be through their own economic recovery.

President Lula also said that as a consequence of the crisis there had been a shared understanding at the summit that ‘the market is not always right’, and later emphasised the importance of regulating the world financial system ‘so that it is orientated more towards the productive rather than the speculative sector’.

Immediately before the press conference the President gave an interview to BBC Newsnight, which will be possible to view on the programme’s website until 8 April.

Source: Embassy of Brazil

G20: President Lula is famous for his metaphors about barbecue and football – The Daily Telegraph

G20 summit logistics: leaders and their retinues spend a few days in London – The Guardian



4 Apr 2009

The gaffes at G20 summit

2 Apr 2009

Larry Elliott: Just as poorer countries start to get a voice, development slips down the agenda

2 Apr 2009

Michelle Obama does London – the fashion story so far

1 Apr 2009

AudioBoo takes a G20 field trip – and stays up Just.

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