Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva Tuesday signed the documents providing for the demarcation of two indigenous lands in the States of Acre and Amazonas, Agência Brasil reported. It was also the last step before the final regularization of the areas, it was explained.
Lula approved the measure on territories in Rio Gregório, in Tarauacá, Acre, an area traditionally occupied by the Katukina and Yawanawá peoples, with more than 187,100 hectares, and Acapuri de Cima, in Fonte Boa, Amazonas, characterized as being occupied by the Kokama people, which has more than 18,300 hectares.
At an event to commemorate Amazon Day, attended by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the federal government announced a series of measures, including the approval of two indigenous lands and the allocation of public lands for new conservation units.
The Amazon is in a hurry to survive the devastation caused by those people who don't want to see the future. The Amazon is in a hurry to stay alive, stay healthy, and have the strength to face the droughts that climate change has already begun to bring, the president said.
In 2025, we're going to have the big climate meeting in Amazonas. It will be in the city of Belém. Everyone on planet Earth is talking about the Amazon. With this event, it will be the first time that the Amazon will tell the world about its importance, Lula also pointed out.
Protecting our territories means guaranteeing our indigenous lives, ensuring our diversity, and facing climate emergencies, said Indigenous Peoples Minister Sônia Guajaja
We indigenous peoples, guardians of Mother Earth, are 5% of the world's population, but we protect 82% of the world's biodiversity. And a large part of this preservation is within the Amazon territory, she also said. If we are doing this common good, protecting life on Earth, we need to have our lives and rights guaranteed, she added.
Paralyzed throughout Bolsonaro's government, the demarcation of indigenous lands has resumed under the current administration. In addition to Tuesday's areas, President Lula had already signed the demarcation of six territories in April this year. On that occasion, the territories of Arara do Rio Amônia, in Acre, Kariri-Xocó, in Alagoas, Rio dos Índios, in Rio Grande do Sul, Tremembé da Barra do Mundaú, in Ceará, Avá-Canoeiro, in Goiás, and Uneiuxi, in Amazonas, were approved.
The National Foundation for Indigenous Peoples (FUNAI) currently records 761 indigenous lands. These areas represent approximately 13.75% of Brazil's territory and are located in all biomes, especially in the Legal Amazon. Of this total, 475 are regularized, eight homologated and 73 declared. There are 44 delimited areas and 137 under study for demarcation. In addition, there are around 478 claims by indigenous peoples under prior analysis by FUNAI, with no processes underway yet.
President Lula also announced Tuesday a series of land actions, including the resumption of the Technical Chamber for the Allocation and Land Regularization of Federal Rural Public Lands, to advance the social allocation of around 50 million hectares of federal land not yet allocated, an area equivalent to the size of Spain.
Meanwhile, deforestation alerts in the Legal Amazon fell by 66.11% in August, compared to the same period last year, the National Institute for Space Research (INPE) announced Tuesday following the release of the latest data by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MMA).
In the first seven months of this government, we saw a 42% reduction in deforestation [in the Amazon]. Compared to the same period last year, that's a victory. In August, we had a 66.11% reduction in deforestation and a 47.5% reduction in the number of hotspots in the Amazon, compared to August 2022, said Minister Marina Silva during an event at the Planalto Palace while announcing new steps to protect the biome.
The Legal Amazon encompasses the states of Acre, Amapá, Amazonas, Mato Grosso, Pará, Rondônia, Roraima, and Tocantins and a part of Maranhão, covering around 59% of Brazil's territory.
Silva also spoke of a 42% reduction in deforestation in the Atlantic Forest from January to May, and 79.7% in June, according to data from the SOS Mata Atlântica Foundation.
In the Cerrado, according to the minister, the recent figures show a reversal of the deforestation trend seen in recent months. The Cerrado was on a very strong deforestation trend. Now we have an indication of good news. We are balancing and pushing this curve down, thanks to a partnership with the state governments, she said.
Silva also insisted that, because more than 60% of the Amazon is within its territory, the future of humanity and the world's living conditions depended on Brazil. It's not ufanism. It's a realistic and even scientific realization of the enormous responsibility that lies with Brazilian society and governments. If we fail to protect the forest and its peoples, we will condemn the world to a brutal increase in CO2 [carbon dioxide] in the atmosphere and rising temperatures, she said. (Source: Agencia Brasil)