Words by Tess Becker
With the goal of protecting the forest and the indigenous people that live there, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has decreed six new indigenous reserves, banning mining and restricting commercial farming there.
The new reserves cover about 1.5 million acres of land and are a direct response to some of the policies put in place by Lula’s predecessor, Jair Bolsonaro, who promoted mining in indigenous lands.
“We are going to legalise indigenous lands. It is a process that takes a little while, because it has to go through many hands,” Lula said. “I don't want any indigenous territory to be left without demarcation during my government. That is the commitment I made to you.”
This is a big step for the Amazon which in recent years has seen increasing deforestation due to things like logging and industrial farming.
The presidential decree grants indigenous people exclusive use of natural resources on the reserves. All mining is banned, and there are tighter rules for commercial farming and logging.
At Smiley Movement, we like to elevate the work of charities across the world. Here are three charities whose causes align with the themes in this article.
Beacon Food Forest. This is one of the largest food forests in the country. Find out more and support them here.
Cultural Survival. They are an indigenous-led nonprofit focused on empowering indigenous Americans and helping the planet. Find out more.
American Forests. A conservation organization focused on preserving and protecting American forests. Support them here.