Brazil: Sea change turns to protection from Amazon Basin Indigenous Peoples Organization

Please help this document reframe the debate of deforestation in the
Amazon! Brazil and neighboring countries must no longer debate from a
frame of “development of the rainforest” and instead must be pushed into
the frame of human rights violations of indigenous peoples and their
traditional culturally specific forest landscapes. –Editor, Forest
Policy Research

The Amazon Basin Indigenous Peoples Organization (COICA) with our
worldview, diversity of languages, history, cultures, spirituality,
territory, economy, have existed since before recorded time. We have
adopted different forms of organization and identity under the
framework of the nation states which have established laws and
regulations according to their own interests, not recognizing the
ancestral rights of the first inhabitants of the amazon region.
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Attempting to arrive at a consensus between 390 ethnic groups,
representing a population of 2,779,478 people in the 10,268,471 square
kilometer Amazon basin, we gathered in Belem do Para, Brazil from Jan.
27th through Feb. 1st for the World Social Forum. While at the forum
we held intense meetings and in-depth debate and analysis about the
reality of the indigenous peoples living in the Amazon and those from
other biomes, offering our support and leadership in the process of
the World Social Forum. We affirm the rights of Indigenous peoples,
considering the principles of the declaration by the U.N. in regards
to the rights of indigenous peoples (UNDRIP) and the good faith and
follow through on the obligations by the nation states that have
adopted said declaration, to be considered different, and to be
respected as different, and that we contribute to the richness and
diversity of civilizations and cultures that make up humanity.

We condemn all doctrines, policies and practices based in the superiority
of a determined people or nationality, and the persons whom perpetuate
said doctrines, policies and practices through use of rationality
based on national origin and racial, religious, ethnic, or cultural
differences which are socially unjust, scientifically false, morally
condemnable, judicially invalid and otherwise racist. We affirm that
indigenous peoples have the right to self determination over their
political condition and must freely pursue their economic, social and
cultural development. Therefore: We demand the immediate zoning and
title over our ancestral territory, which has been used as alway by
its legitimate inhabitants. We denounce and condemn the violent
intimidation through the murders of our leaders for the defense of our
territories and rights as indigenous peoples. We denounce the advance
of the agricultural border and agricultural development
(agro-industry) responsible for the violation of our rights in
reference to discrimination, the plundering of our territories,
deforestation, burning of the forest and grasslands, the contamination
of soils and rivers, the use of transgenetics and agrochemicals, the
expansion of monoculture, bio-piracy, illegal timber traffic,
industrial residues and waste, all factors that put at risk our food
sovereignty, the lost of ecosystems, and finally the the lost of our
cultural values and identity. Furthermore, these impacts deepen the
vulnerability of our sister indigenous peoples in voluntary isolation,
living without outside contact or in the early phase of outside
contact- we demand, on there behalf, the integral guarantee of there
territories by the part of the nation states concerned.

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