Indigenous Act directly in the preservation of the Atlantic forest

Indigenous Act directly in the preservation of the Atlantic forest

Published on May 24, 2013 by HC




Mata Atlântica


[By Bianca Pyl , EcoDebate] In the Atlantic forest-national day celebrated on May 27, it is important to remember the role that indigenous peoples have in the preservation of the forest, which directly depend on to keep their way of life. In Sao Paulo, are several examples of preservation from these populations.

Indigenous lands , along with the protected areas , are fundamental to the maintenance of biological and cultural diversity of the Atlantic forest. The data of the survey indigenous lands in the Atlantic forest: the pressures and threats, recently launched by the Pro-Indian Commission of São Paulo, are an indication that, despite all the pressures, the Indians have managed to maintain the their territories. The satellite images of indigenous lands and its surroundings show a high degree of conservation of plant coverage of these areas, even when surrounded by urban areas, real estate projects and roads, as is the case of indigenous lands Piaçaguera and Ribeirão Silveira, located on the coast.

The main causes of the destruction of the Atlantic forest-the expansion of the agricultural frontier, the major infrastructure developments, the growth of cities and the non-sustainable exploitation-are also the main threats to indigenous territorial rights as demonstrated by the study that analyzes the impacts of mining and infrastructure developments for indigenous lands.

Through the study of nine indigenous lands in São Paulo, the Pro-Indian Commission seeks to illustrate some of the challenges to the protection, conservation and management of indigenous territories located in the Atlantic forest. The nine studied indigenous lands are located in the Serra do Mar Eco region, distributed over a region that ranges from the extreme south of the São Paulo metropolitan region in the Highlands, extending by the Serra do Mar, up the coast. It is the most populated region of the country where, are from small communities to large urban centers.

Deforestation analysis indicates that, in 2011, in six of the nine studied indigenous lands, the deforested areas accounted for less than 4% of the total dimension. The highest percentage of deforestation reaches 10.5% on YOU Piaçaguera, which was the target of mineral exploration and is crossed by a highway.

The time evolution analysis of satellite imagery (2000-2011) indicates that in six of the nine indigenous lands there has been a decrease in the deforested area in the period On YOU Bananal (Peruíbe) the index remained stable and in two cases where the increased – Ribeirão Silveira and Rio Branco of Itanhaém – this was less than one percentage point. In YOU Itaóca indexes point to a reduction in deforestation of 7.4 percentage points in the

the period between 2000 and 2011. Remember that 2000 was the year that indigenous land was declared, hindering the activities of farmer who used it for the banana plantation.

According to the Ministry of the environment, the Atlantic forest consists of a set of forests and associated ecosystems (such as sandbanks, mangroves and fields) that originally stretched for about 1,300,000 km2 in seventeen States of Brazil. Currently the Atlantic forest is reduced to 22% of their original coverage. Of the total vegetation cover still exists, only about 7% is well preserved, among which are the indigenous lands.

To download the publication Indigenous lands in the Atlantic forest: pressures and threats , go to:




Eco Debate,  5/24/2013


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