tagged w/ Indigenous
A prominent anti-logging activist was murdered along with his wife in Brazil on Tuesday, just hours before the country's Chamber of Deputies overwhelmingly voted to let farmers destroy more of the Amazon.
The 410-63 vote defangs the 75-year-old Código Florestal (Forest Code), which has long required that farmers who own a piece of the Amazon preserve 80% of the land they own and farm only on the remainder. The new bill exempts small-scale farmers from the Forest Code and opens environmentally sensitive patches of land – such as hilltops, slopes, and watersides – to cultivation. It also grants amnesty to small-scale farmers who violated the law before July, 2008.
The bill has not yet passed to the Senate, and Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has vowed to veto it if the amnesty provision remains, but that hasn’t stopped farmers from preemptively chopping and burning forested portions of their property, leading to a sixfold surge in deforestation, with the greatest increase coming in Mato Grosso.
Death of an Activist
Also on Tuesday, anti-logging activist José Claudio Ribeiro "Ze Claudio" da Silva was gunned down along with his wife, Maria do Espírito Santo da Silva, in rural Para inside the Praialta-Piranheira, a nature reserve where they had spent the last two decades as rubber-tappers.
First passed in 1934 and strengthened intermittently thereafter, the Forest Code is considered one of the world’s most progressive forest policies. Supporters of the Forest Code say it has played a major role in the rapid deceleration of deforestation rates in the Amazon over the last decade.
Before surging this past year, deforestation rates had fallen dramatically in Brazil. From a ten-year high of 2.7 million hectares in 2004, the rate dropped to 0.70 million hectares by 2009.
In a letter in the July 16, 2010, issue of Science, six Brazilian scientists wrote that the new rules “will benefit sectors that depend on expanding frontiers by clear-cutting forests and savannas and will reduce mandatory restoration of native vegetation illegally cleared since 1965.”
The scientists warn that CO2 emissions “may increase substantially”, and as many as 100,000 species might be put at risk of extinction if the proposal becomes law. “Under the new Forest Act,” the scientists said, “Brazil risks suffering its worst environmental setback in half a century, with critical and irreversible consequences beyond its borders.”
cont.A prominent anti-logging activist was murdered along with his wife in Brazil on... more
Deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon rainforest has increased almost sixfold, new data suggests.
Satellite images show deforestation increased from 103 sq km in March and April 2010 to 593 sq km (229 sq miles) in the same period of 2011, Brazil's space research institute says.
Much of the destruction has been in Mato Grosso state, the centre of soya farming in Brazil.
The news comes shortly before a vote on new forest protection rules.
Brazilian Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira said the figures were "alarming" and announced the setting up of a "crisis cabinet" in response to the news.
"Our objective is to reduce deforestation by July," the minister told a news conference.
Analysts say the new figures have taken the government by surprise.
Last December, a government report said deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon had fallen to its lowest rate for 22 years.
However, the latest data shows a 27% jump in deforestation from August 2010 to April 2011.
The biggest rise was in Mato Grosso, which produces more than a quarter of Brazil's soybean harvest.
Some environmentalists argue that rising demand for soy and cattle is prompting farmers to clear more of their land.
But others see a direct link between the jump in deforestation and months of debate over easing an existing law on forest protection.
"You have 300-400 lawmakers here in Brasilia sending the message that profiting from deforestation will be amnestied, that crime pays," Marcio Astrini from Greenpeace told Reuters.
"The only relevant factor is the Forest Code. It is a gigantic rise."
The Chamber of Deputies has delayed voting on the Forest Code amid at times acrimonious argument but could consider the issue again next week.
The Forest Code, enacted in 1934 and subsequently amended in 1965, sets out how much of his land a farmer can deforest.
Regulations currently require that 80% of a landholding in the Amazon remain forest, 20% in other areas.
Proponents of change say the law impedes economic development and contend that Brazil must open more land for agriculture.
However, opponents fear that in their current form some of the proposed changes might give farmers a form of amnesty for deforested land.
The changes were put forward by Aldo Rebelo, leader of Brazil's Communist Party (PCdoB) and backed by a group in Congress known as the "ruralists" who want Brazil to develop its agribusiness sector.Deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon rainforest has increased almost sixfold, new... more
Deep in the Chiquitana tropical dry forest in southeast Bolivia, Noine Picanerai stands on a dirt road that cuts through lush woods. The 50,000-acre plot looks like a protected reserve. But, notes Picanerai, a woodsman in his 70s, "My people live off selling these trees." Indeed, despite the forest's pristine appearance, it's a logging concession run by an indigenous Ayoreo community. The project, along with dozens of similar forest management programs across the Amazon region north of Bolivia, are making sustainable logging a reality instead of an oxymoron. "We aren't like the other guys," Picanerai says with a toothless grin. "We make sure the forest stays standing."
Each year more than 30 million acres (12 million hectares) of the world's natural forest are cut to satisfy global demand for wood and paper products. That deforestation, which reduces the planet's carbon dioxide-absorbing foliage, causes at least a fifth of all greenhouse gas emissions today. South American forest management projects — logging that assures tree regeneration — are quietly growing into key conservation strategies in the fight against climate change. "These programs are about making the standing forest worth something to governments and communities," says Meg Symington, managing director for the Amazon for the World Wildlife Fund-USA, which supports sustainable forestry.
Bolivia, specifically its indigenous communities and their NGO advocates, has been a pioneer of this effort, and communities in Brazil, Peru and the Guyanas have jumped on board as well. The Chiquitana venture, established in 2001 in the town of Zapoco by the Ayoreos and an NGO called APCOB, with government approval and monitoring, was Bolivia's first indigenous-run forestry business. Its goal is to help save the dry forest — which is South America's second-largest eco-system behind the Amazon rain forest, but whose trees are being felled at a faster rate than others on the continent — while giving the rural poor a shot at a living wage.
Each year for 20 years, the Zapoco cooperative has license to log 2,500 acres (1,000 hectares) filled with rosewood, tigerwood, caviuna and other exotic tree species for export to the U.S. and Europe. (On average about 6,000 trees are felled each year.) A tree census plots out the logging before it begins, and only mature trunks of a certain diameter are marked for chopping, while younger trees are left to grow and the healthiest of the lot are spared so their seeds can spread. "That one wasn't cut because it's got a parrot's nest," says Pedro Charupas, another Zapoco resident, motioning to a fully mature ironwood.
Such efforts are still the exception: billions of dollars worth of illegally harvested wood is estimated to enter the U.S. every year, despite 2008 legislation meant to thwart it. But as nations like the U.S. increase efforts to buy legally sourced wood, countries like Bolivia benefit due to projects like Zapoco's. Half of Bolivia's surface area, about 1.3 million acres (500,000 hectares) is forest, home to rare wood species whose value will grow as rain and dry forests alike disappear in other parts of the world. Picanerai says Zapoco often hosts visits from other indigenous communities eager to establish cooperatives. And that's why, says the elder, he's confident the seeds of sustainable logging will keep spreading.
Read more: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2071694,00.html#ixzz1MjWaaHBfDeep in the Chiquitana tropical dry forest in southeast Bolivia, Noine Picanerai... more
Plans for the construction of the controversial Belo Monte hydroelectric plant in the Amazon rainforest have been suspended by a Brazilian judge over environmental concerns.
The proposal to build Belo Monte, which would be the world's third-largest hydroelectric dam, has sparked protests in Brazil and abroad because of its impact on the environment and native Indian tribes in the area.
A federal court in Para state, under judge Ronaldo Desterro, has halted plans for the construction because environmental requirements for the project had not been met. These included contingency plans to assure transportation along rivers where the dam is expected to reduce the water level sharply.
The national development bank, BNDES, has also been prohibited from financing the project by the court.
The construction of the dam, in the world's largest rainforest, was to begin soon. The project is estimated as being worth up to $26 billion.
It has angered environmentalists, with hundreds of people taking part in a protest in Brasilia in February. They handed over a petition with 600,000 signatures against the project.
cont.Plans for the construction of the controversial Belo Monte hydroelectric plant in the... more
New film footage released today shows uncontacted Indians on the Brazil-Peru border in never-seen-before detail. It is the first-ever aerial footage of an uncontacted community.
Ms Anderson said today, ‘What comes across very powerfully from this amazing footage is how healthy and confident these people appear. I hope they can be left alone – but that will only happen if the loggers are stopped.’
The footage was filmed by the BBC in collaboration with the Brazilian government, for the new BBC 1 ‘Human Planet’ series. The Brazilian government has authorized Survival to use the footage as part of its campaign.
The Indians’ survival is in jeopardy as an influx of illegal loggers invades the Peru side of the border. Brazilian authorities believe the influx of loggers is pushing isolated Indians from Peru into Brazil, and the two groups are likely to come into conflict.
Survival Director Stephen Corry said today, ‘The very dangerous future for uncontacted tribal peoples should be of worldwide concern. Gillian Anderson’s help here will draw more attention to it – vital if the world is finally going to call a real halt to the centuries of destruction.’
Uncontacted tribes are peoples who have no peaceful contact with anyone in the mainstream or dominant society. There are about 100 such tribes in the world.New film footage released today shows uncontacted Indians on the Brazil-Peru border in... more
My final video for 2010 from the Sustainable Agriculture Group on GMO news. We need to see the momentum gaining more in 2011. Here's hoping that the coming year brings us one year closer to a GMO free world to protect the biodiversity and health of our food and planet.
Thank you to all who have supported my endeavors and posts this year.
JanMy final video for 2010 from the Sustainable Agriculture Group on GMO news. We need to... more
A new "gold rush" is under way in the American West, but this time the prospectors are out for another metal: uranium.
The Grand Canyon region in the US state of Arizona holds one of the nation's largest concentrations of high grade uranium, the fuel for nuclear power.
As global demand for nuclear power has increased so has interest in the metal and, across the south-west, companies are seeking permission to restart uranium mining.
In the US, President Barack Obama has called for an increase in nuclear power to help reduce the country's dependence on foreign oil.
The US government is currently weighing the costs and benefits of mining, with Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva proposing a ban on mining near the Grand Canyon.
But with the increase in uranium exploration come concerns about the future of the Grand Canyon, a Unesco World Heritage Site and one of America's foremost natural wonders.
And Native American populations living near uranium mines fear exploration could contaminate their drinking water.
For now, the sole active uranium mine near the Grand Canyon's northern rim is run by Denison Mines Corporation, a Canadian firm.
The Arizona 1 mine employs 30 miners, and the firm says it goes to great lengths to protect them in the hazardous environment.
Among other precautions, large fans pump clean air into the mine and suck out most of the radioactive radon gas, while workers spray water across the site to keep down potentially harmful dust. The firm also says past accidents were swiftly and effectively cleaned up.
On a recent trip into the mine, none of the miners wore masks, and their hands and face were caked with uranium ore.
"It washes off," miner Cody Behuden, 28, told the BBC while licking his ore-caked lips.
Vice-president of US operations Harold Roberts said the miners were under no danger from ingesting uranium.
***************************************A new "gold rush" is under way in the American West, but this time the... more
1. Colombian attack on the indigenous
2. Blocking the flows of carbon
3. Mending the Niger Delta
4. RCMP can’t find Bin Laden
5. The Olympigs are here!
6. The resistance responds
8. Occupy Everything1. Colombian attack on the indigenous 2. Blocking the flows of carbon 3. Mending the... more
Story on Drew Nelson song about Sacred Eagle Rock, Yellow Dog Plains in Michigan's Upper Peninsula that's being destroyed by Kennecott MineralsStory/photo about Drew Nelson song about sacred Eagle Rock came out in this week's Indian Country Today newspaper
Video with Drew Nelson song entitled "Eagle Rock (Song for the People)"
Contact singer/songwriter Drew Nelson who wrote Eagle Rock (Song for the People)
Book Drew Nelson:
Two Hearted Music L.L.C.
1251 Penn Ave N.E.
Grand Rapids MI 49505
Eagle Rock (Song for the People)
By Drew Nelson
Sun breaks over the Yellow Dog
call the thunder down
feel the wind rush against my face
sound of the children
breaks the stillness of the morning
red tail rises not a mile from this place
all through the night
they kept the fire burning
all through the night they sang
call the directions, put tobacco down
prayers and smoke on the wind
Here at Eagle Rock we will take our stand
Here at Eagle Rock we will pray
for the healing of our people
and the healing of our land
there’s a fire burning in our hearts
Ishkoday (Anishinaabe for sacred fire)
For a thousand years
this place has been sacred
it will be for a thousand more
all those who lover her
cry all my relations
see the old ones sing
see the young ones grow
There is a law higher than any government
places more important than a mine
a love that is greater than any corporation
ask the Eagle, ask the Bear, Ask the Pines.
Three brave American Indian women from Baraga, MI started the encampment at sacred Eagle Rock at sunset on April 23, 2010.
They are KBIC members Charlotte Loonsfoot, 37, and Chalsea Smith, 20, and Georgenia Earring of the Cheyenne River Lakota Sioux tribe in South Dakota.
The camp was triggered by mine officials ordering the trespassing arrest three days earlier (April 20) of non-native environmentalist Cynthia Pryor of the Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve
Over the next month campers would build lean-tos, start several campfires including the sacred Grandfather Fire, pitch dozens of tents, pray, plant the Eagle Rock Memorial Garden, host the KBIC Tribal Council meeting (May 10), hear from many healers and elders including popular Native American singer “Bobby Bullet” St. Germaine (Lac Du Flambeau Tribe) and Lee Sprague (Little River Band of Ottawa Indians), and create a kitchen to store tons of food and other supplies donated by supporters.
A massive police raid began about 9 a.m. on May 27 as dozens of heavily armed state and local law enforcement officers swopped down on the camp at the order of officials with Kennecott Eagle Minerals.
Two members of Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve arrived moments before the raid to warn four campers that police were on their way.
Arrested Keweenaw Bay Indian Community members Chris Chosa, 28, and Charlotte Loonsfoot, 37, both of Baraga, Mich.
The other two campers present for the raid were Kalvin Hartwig (Sault Ste. Marie Band of Chippewa), and Catherine Parker of Marquette – were ordered by police and mice security to leave with their vehicles.
Stand for the Land blog
Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve
Save the Wild UP
Cedar Tree Institute
Drew Nelson photo:
http://i894.photobucket.com/albums/ac141/NavajoLutheranMission/Kennecott%20Minerals%20orders%20Ojibwa%20camp%20crushed/SingerDrewNelsonEagleRocksongwri-1.jpgStory/photo about Drew Nelson song about sacred Eagle Rock came out in this... more
Here, the author provides the Zuni view on gender’s fluidity. To read more, please click on the title.
http://www.examiner.com/x-46917-Transgender-and-Transsexual-Issues-Examiner~y2010m5d6-A-Zuni-Indian-perspective-on-genderHere, the author provides the Zuni view on gender’s fluidity. To read more,... more
A Bolivian soda brand with a read label has launched calling itself 'Coca Colla.' Colla after the indigenous people from the highlands. Coca after the leaf that relieves fatigue and hunger.A Bolivian soda brand with a read label has launched calling itself 'Coca... more
If wishing to celebrate trans-life, please click here! Being trans is a gift, and thus, trans-people must spread that message!
http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-38184-Sacramento-Transgender-Issues-Examiner~y2010m4d8-A-celebration-of-translifeIf wishing to celebrate trans-life, please click here! Being trans is a gift, and... more
For all those curious on how they can save the Amazon forest and its people, a visit to Kapawi Lodge can make all the difference. Home to the Achuar, an Ecuadorian Tribe that has successfully fought off logging and oil companies, this once in a lifetime experience provides guests an experience to learn and to return to nature's roots! Please read this article and support the Amazon and its people today!
http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-43552-Indigenous-Travel-Examiner~y2010m4d6-Save-the-Amazon-Forest-todayFor all those curious on how they can save the Amazon forest and its people, a visit... more
Indigenous culture enthusiasts, nature lovers and Bigfoot fans alike are sure to find something at the Tule River Indian Reservation. Unknown to the virtual majority, tourists will enjoy an educational get away!
http://www.examiner.com/examiner/x-43552-Indigenous-Travel-Examiner~y2010m4d3-Following-in-Bigfoots-footsteps-destination-Tule-RiverIndigenous culture enthusiasts, nature lovers and Bigfoot fans alike are sure to find... more
Unbeknownst to the majority, Zuni Pueblo is a tourist's dream. To find out more, read on to discover this best-kept secret.
http://www.examiner.com/x-43552-Indigenous-Travel-Examiner~y2010m4d2-Travels-through-Indian-Country-destination-ZuniUnbeknownst to the majority, Zuni Pueblo is a tourist's dream. To find out more,... more
The Coastal First Nations, a coalition of aboriginal communities in Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest, publicly announced their strong opposition this week to the Northern Gateway pipeline, a project would would run tar sands oil from Alberta to a port near the Pacific Ocean.
Enbridge Inc.'s plan is to open export markets for tar sands oil outside the United States — notably China. However, the Coastal First Nations see the pipeline as a major threat to their territory and way of life.
“We are still gatherers, and the ocean is our supermarket. To jeopardize that so we can eat bologna and spam with the rest of the country is not acceptable." ...
http://solveclimate.com/blog/20100325/coastal-first-nations-oppose-canada-tar-sands-pipelineThe Coastal First Nations, a coalition of aboriginal communities in Canada’s... more
Faced with growing demand for food and increasingly unpredictable weather, many developing nations are debating whether to relax restrictions on the use of genetically modified crops.
Students from the department of environment studies pose with their painted faces during a protest against "bacillus thuringniensis" Bt brinjal in the northern Indian city of Chandigarh February 2, 2010. (REUTERS/Ajay Verma)Seed developers promise that a coming generation of genetically modified (GM) food crops will have climate-resilient features, from drought resistance to saltwater tolerance.
But widespread adoption of GM varieties by small farmers would be "suicidal in terms of climate change," said Vandana Shiva, an Indian social activist, environmentalist and proponent of small-scale farming.
"The (GM) system is more about companies making money from farmers than food security," she told AlertNet in an interview in London.
Adopting GM crops puts small farmers at greater financial risk because they often have to borrow money to buy more expensive GM seeds. If their crops fail, particularly repeatedly, they can find themselves unable to repay the loans, she said.
Worldwide, crop failures are increasingly harder to predict because the climate is becoming more erratic.
In recent years there has been an unprecedented spate of suicides by heavily indebted cotton farmers in Central India, Shiva said. More than three quarters of the suicides, her research shows, have been committed by farmers using GM cotton seed and struggling to repay loans.
GM suppliers sell their seeds on the condition that farmers buy fresh seed each year - something many growers can't afford if their crop fails. A decade ago, 80 percent of Indian farmers saved part of their harvest as seed to plant the following season's crops, Shiva said.
Plenty of drought- and flood-resistant traditional crop varieties already exist and simply need to be brought back to market, supporters of traditional farming say.
Shiva said India has hundreds of varieties of rice, and many that show resistance to flooding, drought and saltwater are now being carefully bred at Indian research institutes to increase yields and are then re-released to farmers.
In India's northeast Assam province, where fields have been flooded for weeks after intense rains, demand has surged for two rice varieties that can survive weeks under water and also produce well even in dry conditions.
Planting a broader variety of crop strains - rather than a couple of GM varieties - should help protect the world food supply and insure it against emerging climate threats, including an expanding range of crop pests.
While a pest might decimate some varieties of crops, it is unlikely it could destroy a wide range of varieties, she said.
"Resilience is built through diversity," Shiva said.
cont.Faced with growing demand for food and increasingly unpredictable weather, many... more