Category Archives: Deforestation

A gold mine swallowed their village. This Amazon tribe is here to take it back

In 1996, Osvaldo Wuaru and his family arrived on the outskirts of the vast Munduruku Amazon Territory with a crucial mission: set up a village to hold back the invasion of pariwat (non-indigenous) gold miners. Twenty-one years later, it has all but failed, reports Climate Home News

Named Watch Post (the Portuguese acronym is PV), the village has been swallowed by the heavy equipment of hundreds of illegal gold miners (called garimpeiros). What was once a few huts hidden in the Amazon forest now resembles a bombed battlefield.

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Source: gad

Forests fall, animals die, desert looms: Uganda's burning problem – in pictures

Charcoal is an integral part of everyday life in Uganda, where most people rely on some form of wood fuel to cook or boil water. For many, the sale of trees also provides a valuable income. Yet this levelling of the landscape, which causes loss of habitat for wildlife and leads to climate change, is unsustainable

All photographs by Jennifer Huxta

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Source: gad

'I used to see them as a bunch of rioters': Brazil's radical farmers | Ignacio Amigo

Landless workers who occupied disused and degraded farmland were finally given plots – and have transformed them into fields of bounty through agroforestry

Photographs by Ignacio Amigo

One day in 2005 Zaqueu Miguel was driving his bus through the outskirts of the city of Ribeirão Preto, in south-east Brazil, when he noticed a group of people camped near a rural property.

He discovered that the camp was called Mario Lago, and that the people there were demanding the expropriation of the land – vacant and degraded – in order to use it for farming. Miguel, who had grown up on a farm and had dreamed ever since of having his own piece of land, didn’t think twice. He packed some basics and joined them, keeping his job and family in the city but spending nights in a shack at the camp.

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Source: gad

On the Amazon’s lawless frontier, murder mystery divides the locals and loggers

The Ka’apor tribe fight a daily battle in Brazil’s Maranhão state to protect their forests

Sairá Ka’apor patrolled one of the most murderous frontiers in the world, a remote and largely lawless region of the Brazilian Amazon where his indigenous community has fought for generations to protect their forest land.

Armed with clubs, bows and arrows, GPS trackers and crude guns, he and fellow members of Ka’apor Forest Guard drove off – and sometimes attacked – loggers who intruded into their territory, the 530,000-hectare Alto Turiaçu Indigenous Land, which is roughly three times the area of Greater London and contains about half of the Amazon forest left in Brazil’s northern Maranhão state. That vigilante role came to an end last April when Sairá was stabbed to death in Betel, a logging town close to Ka’apor territory.

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Source: gad

Community leader tortured and killed over land trafficking in Peru

José Napoleón Tarrillo Astonitas murdered for opposing land traffickers seeking to clear land in the Chaparrí Ecological Reserve, say local witnesses

A criminal gang involved in land trafficking has tortured and murdered a community leader in northern Peru, according to his wife and local villagers who witnessed the killing.

José Napoleón Tarrillo Astonitas, 50, was attacked by four men in his home on Saturday night. His wife, Flor Vallejos, told police he was bound by his hands and feet, beaten with a stick and strangled with an electric cable.

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Source: gad

‘For us, the land is sacred’: on the road with the defenders of the world’s forests

A busload of indigenous leaders have been crossing Europe to highlight their cause before the start of UN climate talks in Bonn

Of the many thousands of participants at the Bonn climate conference which begins on 6 November, there will arguably be none who come with as much hope, courage and anger as the busload of indigenous leaders who have been criss-crossing Europe over the past two weeks, on their way to the former German capital.

The 20 activists on the tour represent forest communities that have been marginalised over centuries but are now increasingly recognised as important actors against climate change through their protection of carbon sinks.

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Source: gad