Indigenous Lands most threatened by deforestation in the Amazon are in Pará and Rondônia, reveals Imazon

The Imazon survey considers an area of up to 10 km away from the reserves and was, according to the institute, conducted with the objective of preventing them from being invaded (Gabriel Uchida/Reproduction)

Iury Lima – From Cenarium Magazine

VILHENA (RO) – A study published in “Indigenous Peoples’ Fight and Resistance” week confirms something that the guardians of the forest have been saying tirelessly for a long time: the Indigenous Lands (TIs) of the Amazon are increasingly suffering from the action of invaders, especially illegal gold miners and deforesters inside and outside the villages.

The data are from the Institute of Man and Environment of the Amazon (Imazon) and reveal that, of all the Indigenous Lands most threatened by slashing and burning of forests in their surroundings, 60% are in the state of Pará, followed by Rondônia, which concentrated 40% of the territories in the sights of the advance of destruction throughout 2021.


The mapping that identified and ranked the lands most threatened by criminal action also indicated that the most threatened IT of the entire biome is in Rondônia: the home of the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau people, with a population of less than 250 people. The Imazon survey considers an area of up to 10 km away from the reserves and was, according to the institute, carried out with the objective of preventing them from being invaded.

“Besides monitoring deforestation inside the Indigenous Lands, it is also important to understand the dynamics of deforestation around these territories, because by knowing the most threatened areas in relation to deforestation, it is possible for law enforcement agencies to act in a preventive way and prevent invasions and illegal use of these territories,” Imazon researcher Larissa Amorim explained to CENARIUM.

PA: fight and control, now!

The specialist points out that “most of the Indigenous Lands that have the highest occurrence of deforestation around their territorial limits are located in Pará” and that, for that reason, the State “urgently needs an intensification of enforcement actions and actions to combat deforestation, prioritizing these territories that are being most threatened and most deforested,” she argued.

Throughout 2021, the state concentrated six of the ten most threatened ITs, that is, more than half of the territories ranked.

For researcher Larissa Amorim, the lack of effective inspection and punishment of invaders opens the way for increased destruction inside and outside indigenous villages (Reproduction/Imazon)

The Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau struggle

Considering all the deforestation occurrences in 2021, the year in which the devastation of the Amazon Forest was the greatest in at least 14 years, Imazon points out that the Indigenous Land most surrounded by deforestation was that of the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau people. The territory spans 12 of the 52 municipalities of Rondonia in an area of almost 2 million hectares.

‘Threat’, according to the institute, “is the measure of the imminent risk of deforestation occurring within a Protected Area (PA)”. The Deforestation Alert (SAD), another measurement made by Imazon, confirms that the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau IT was the main victim of the deforestation threat around it, having dropped in position in the final months, but still remaining among the ten most endangered territories.

Devastation flagged inside the Karipuna Indigenous Land, in RO, by Greenpeance. Territory was the 8th most threatened in 2021 (Christian Braga/Reprodução)

“The Indigenous Land most threatened last year was the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau IT, located in Rondônia (…) Despite the strong occurrence of deforestation around this IT, there has not yet been an intensification of this deforestation within its territorial limit. This is an example of where preventive action should occur in order to protect this territory and prevent illegal invasions from occurring within it”, emphasized Larissa Amorim.

The territory of the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau people spans 12 municipalities in Rondônia over almost 2 million hectares (Reproduction/Google Earth/ ISA)

The Indigenous Lands most surrounded by deforestation in 2021:

1st – TI Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau (RO)

2nd – Trincheira/Bacajá IT (PA)

3rd – Parakanã Tribe (PA)

4th – Baú IT (PA)

5th – Cachoeira Seca do Iriri TI (PA)

6th – Arara IT (PA)

7th – Aripuanã TI (MT)

8th – Karipuna Tribe (RO)

9th – Apyterewa IT (PA)10th – Aripuanã IT (MT/RO)

10th – Aripuanã TI (MT/RO)

Fight and resistance

The guardian of the forest Ari-Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau, childhood friend of Txai Suruí, mentioned by her at the COP26 and recognized at international film festivals for the documentary “The Territory”, was one of the voices of indigenous activism silenced by landowners.

Ari died at the age of 34, assassinated for denouncing the invasion of his people’s Indigenous Territory and logging exploitation. The crime completed two years ago this last week of April and, to this day, has not been solved.

Billboard displayed in Porto Velho, capital of Rondônia, calls for justice for the death of the Uru-Eu-Wau-Wau territory guardian (Reproduction/Social Networks)

“2 years without Ari. 2 years without answers. 2 years without justice,” wrote activist Txai Suruí on Twitter.

Guaranteed rights, shield raised

Also according to Imazon, in the last year, the Indigenous Lands were the territorial category that most prevented the advance of deforestation, despite the great threat and pressure around them (which increased 29% in 2021). Hence, the evidence that demarcation is necessary not only to ensure the land rights of the original peoples, but also to guarantee the maintenance of the Amazon ecosystems.

Last year closed with 10,362 square kilometers of destruction of the biome, of which only 2.5%, or 263 square kilometers, were recorded within the Indigenous Lands. “Demarcating new areas is an effective action to combat deforestation,” stated the Imazon study.


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