The Karipuna Indigenous Peoples have been fighting to protect their land for generations. Even though their territory is officially recognized by the Brazilian government, that doesn’t stop land-grabbers from invading their land for logging and cattle farming. So the Karipuna have taken the matters into their own hands. From speaking at the UN to working together with organisations to monitor and highlight deforestation in their land, the Karipuna have been sounding the alarm on the attacks they are suffering and the lack of support the Brazilian government is providing to them and to other Indigenous People. Now, the Karipuna People are taking the Brazilian state to court for allowing illegally private land plots to be registered inside their protected land.
The national environmental registry of rural property (Cadastro ambiental Rural – CAR) is designed to ensure that all property falls within conservation and environmental laws, but is misused by groups or individuals to illegally claim land plots inside protected areas to expand their farm land for cattle grazing and legitimize illegal deforestation on Indigenous lands. These land-grabs, along with the lack of a protection plan for the Karipuna People’s territory by state bodies, are two of the main reasons that the Karipuna Indigenous land was among the top 10 most destroyed Indigenous lands in Brazil last year.
Why does it matter?
The rate of deforestation in Brazil has exponentially increased in the last few years, since President Bolsonaro took office in 2019. Since day one, Bolsonaro has been slashing funds to protect the environment, reducing the power environmental agencies have to act, and enabling forest destroyers. The fires in the Amazon and Pantanal in the past couple of years are heartbreaking and outraging, and are the result of Bolsonaro’s anti-environmental agenda.
But Bolsonaro’s actions are not only a threat to the forest. The Karipuna – and all Indigenous Peoples in Brazil – have been fighting for their rights for generations. Land-grabbing and other illegal activities are a risk to their livelihoods and often to their lives. The Brazilian government must be held responsible for their actions – and lack of actions – to protect the environment, Indigenous People’s lands, and the global climate.
What you can do
Supporting Indigenous Peoples’ struggles around the world is vital for a safe and just future for everyone, and we cannot allow companies and governments to exploit their land, threaten their lives and take away their rights. Demanding Indigenous People’s rights means demanding the protection of forest and other vital ecosystems and ensuring our planet is safe for everyone. Join the movement to Act for the Amazon and to support the Karipuna.