Between 6 and 18 November, indigenous leaders of the Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB), together with their grassroots organizations, will participate in the 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27). The event will take place in the city of Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, where the delegation will discuss the demarcation of Indigenous Territories (ITs) in the country as an essential action to face the global crisis.
The conference takes place after Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s victory in the presidential elections, placing the country back on the climate and environmental agenda, especially in the international arena. The elected president accepted the invitations of governors of the Legal Amazon and the Egyptian presidency to attend the event.
The APIB reiterates that the Indigenous Lands are the areas with the greatest biodiversity and with the most preserved vegetation, since they are territories protected and managed by the native peoples. An example of this is the result of data crossing performed by APIB in 2022, in partnership with the Amazonas Environmental Research Institute (Ipam), with data from MapBiomas. It points out that in Brazil 29% of the territory around the Indigenous Lands is deforested, while inside the Indigenous Lands only 2% is deforested.
Dinamam Tuxá, executive coordinator of APIB, recalls that in 2018 one of the campaign promises of the current president, Jair Bolsonaro, was to not demarcate any ancestral territory. The measure is an attack on the rights of indigenous peoples guaranteed in the 1988 Federal Constitution and an incentive to deforestation and illegal mining.
“In Brazil there is no solution to the climate crisis without the demarcation of indigenous lands and, consequently, the protection of indigenous peoples. We have an intimate relationship with Mother Nature and we see up close the effects of the environmental destruction that Bolsonaro has caused, now with Lula we hope to work together so that the situation changes,” explains Tuxá.
The coordinator, who will be at the conference, will participate in the panel “Governmental transition and Brazilian socio-environmental policy” on November 9. Organized by the Climate Observatory, the panel will also include the Secretary of OC – Márcio Astrini, Tasso Azevedo – Coordinator of the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Estimation System of the Climate Observatory (SEEG), Brenda Brito – researcher of the Institute of Man and Environment of the Amazon (IMAZON), Luis Fernando – Knowledge Director of SOS Mata Atlântica and a representative of the new elected government.
The COP27 also comes after Norway announced it would resume the Amazon Fund, an international cooperation program that allocated financial aid to Brazil to reduce deforestation. The Fund was created during the Lula government, but in 2019 Bolsonaro imposed new requirements that caused Norway and Germany to terminate transfers of resources that reached up to US$ 1 billion.
The proposed resumption of the Amazon Fund was only possible with the election of Lula, who has among his promises to end deforestation in the Amazon, respect indigenous peoples and recover the country’s protagonism in the fight for climate justice.
Eunice Kerexu, executive coordinator of Apib, says that having a government committed to these agendas brings relief and optimism to activists and indigenous organizations.
“With Lula we have a more optimistic scenario, but the struggle does not stop. We will continue to fight for the demarcation of indigenous lands and the overthrow of the Temporal Milestone thesis. Just like Norway, it is also important that more countries take part in the debate and return to dialogue with Brazil so that together we can solve the climate crisis”, said Eunice Kerexu.
In 2021, Brazil emitted 2.42 billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, which represents a 12% increase compared to 2020 and the highest increase in greenhouse gas emissions in 19 years, according to a survey by the Climate Observatory. Experts point out that the main cause of this increase is deforestation. Brazil and Mexico were the only two countries among the signatories of the Paris Agreement that regressed in their targets in the 2020 review, according to the UN.
Articulation of the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB)
The Articulation of the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB) was created in 2004 and is the national reference for the indigenous movement. It gathers regional indigenous organizations and was born with the purpose of strengthening the union of the peoples, the articulation between different regions and indigenous organizations of the country, in addition to mobilizing the peoples and indigenous organizations against threats and aggressions to indigenous rights.
What: APIB takes its demands for Indigenous Land recognition to Egypt and reinforces climate change agenda for Lula Government
When: November 6th to 18th, 2022
Where: United Nations Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP27) in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.