Indigenous Brazilians fight to protect their land

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Indigenous Brazilians fight to protect their land

By Phil Clarke Hill and Ruy Sposati


Photo from the documentary (link below). © Image by Amazon Ka’apor community.

Phil Clarke Hill and Ruy Sposati show how the Amazon Ka’apor community are fighting to protect their land.

The state of Maranhao is in the east of the Brazilian Amazon. The area had a lot of forest, but recently, a lot of this has been cut.

The Imazon research institute says that the Brazilian wood industry has a value of about $1.6 billion per year. 76% of this wood is cut illegally.

The Amazon is the largest tropical forest in the world. It is also the main area in the world for the big illegal wood industry.

The Ka’apor are an indigenous (native) community in this area. They have been fighting against the people who cut wood illegally for many years.

In Brazil, FUNAI (the National Indian Foundation) gives indigenous groups their own land. It is illegal for people who are not from the community to farm, hunt or take natural resources from this land. But these areas are often remote and large. It is difficult to control. So many people often come onto their land and cut trees.

IBAMA (Brazil’s environmental protection authority) was not helping, so the community had to do something alone. They have taken the wood (cut illegally), they’ve destroyed some equipment and they have forced the loggers to leave. But it hasn’t been easy.

This short video tells the story of their fight: