Climate warning
Image of Congreso Nacional del Brasil

Congreso Nacional del Brasil

Climate warning

PL 490: Indigenous communities in Brazil at risk as a Congress decision threatens their rights and territories

Indigenous communities are highly threatened in Brazil! In a deeply alarming move, Brazil's Congress has approved a law that threatens the rights and territories of indigenous communities. The measure significantly strengthens the powers of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Supply and while this may seem like a bureaucratic change on the surface, it carries serious implications for the indigenous peoples of Brazil.
The bill known as PL 490 has been under consideration since 2007 and was first proposed by Brazil’s powerful agro-business lobby, which has an obvious desire to open more of the Amazon to cattle ranching, logging, and mining. Members of Brazil’s conservative-dominated lower house overwhelmingly endorsed bill number 490, by 283 votes to 155. The legislation is seen as a death penalty for the indigenous people of Brazil and raises concerns about the continued survival of indigenous communities, their land rights, and the preservation of their rich cultural heritage.
Image of post in post detailed view

“You will have Indigenous blood on your hands,” the Indigenous congresswoman Célia Xakriabá told the rightwing backers of the law as leftwingers took to the podium to protest by smothering their hands in the red dye of annatto seeds.
The new law opens the door for increased exploitation of indigenous lands, potentially leading to environmental devastation and cultural erosion. By prioritising economic interests over the well-being of indigenous peoples, Brazil's government risks irreparable harm to both its unique ecosystems and the rights of its indigenous population. The law represents a dangerous regression in the fight for indigenous rights and sets a worrying precedent for the future of Brazil's indigenous communities.
The law undermines the hard-fought rights of indigenous peoples in Brazil. It disregards their ancestral connection to the land and their right to self-determination. Indigenous communities have long been custodians of their territories, playing a vital role in preserving the environment and biodiversity.
The expansion of powers for the Ministry of Agriculture, which primarily represents agribusiness interests, opens the door wide to more land-grabbing and generates serious concerns about the potential erosion of environmental protections. This decision could contribute to deforestation, pollution, and irreparable damage to these ecologically significant areas.
By granting more authority to the Ministry of Agriculture without the free, prior, and informed consent of indigenous communities, Brazil's Congress is disregarding the fundamental rights of indigenous peoples. Brazil is a signatory to international agreements, including the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which recognizes and protects the rights of Indigenous communities. However, this recent move undermines these commitments, potentially leading to the displacement of indigenous peoples, and infringing upon their rights to self-determination, land, and resources.
The encroachment on their territories not only threatens their physical well-being but also poses a significant risk to their cultural heritage. The erosion of their traditional way of life and cultural practices diminishes the diversity of humanity as a whole. Prioritizing the interests of agribusiness and other industries over the rights of indigenous peoples perpetuates a cycle of cultural assimilation and marginalisation.
The approval of PL490 is a dangerous decision for Brazil and the world and it will severely jeopardise Lula's commitment to reducing deforestation and prioritising Indigenous rights. The entire world should be looking at Brazil and to ensure human rights are protected.

Do you agree?

13 more agrees trigger contact with the recipient

  • Joyce Waturu

    52 w

    It sad to note that indigenous communities are so much threatened and receive very little government support given the much contribution their have got on conservation initiatives.

    • Kryticous Ruby

      52 w

      We need to protect indigenous communities from such threats because they are the foundation for protecting our environment which is critical in fighting against climate change.

      • Edwin wangombe

        52 w

        It's a shame... Indigenous communities should be protected by all means

        • ance Star

          52 w

          That's really bad approach towards human rights

          • Timothy Ndegwa

            52 w

            This is really bad and sad it infringes the indigenous groups' rights which so inhumane.

            • Elizabeth Gathigia

              52 w

              This is disappointing, human rights should be protected at all cost

              • Marine Stephan

                52 w

                This is so so bad! Is there any way that this can be countered? I'm guessing Brazil's Supreme Federal Court could have a say in it (?)

                • Tabitha Kimani

                  52 w

                  Quite disappointing news from Brazil coming after president Lula's efforts to save Amazon.

                  • ance Star

                    52 w

                    This is so sad

                    • Markus Lutteman

                      52 w

                      What a bad move. Such a pity that Lula could not hold back the powerful agrobusiness lobbyists.

                      Welcome, let's solve the climate crisis together
                      Post youtube preview with preloading
                      youtube overlay

                      Write or agree to climate reviews to make businesses and world leaders act. It’s easy and it works.

                      Write a climate review

                      Voice your opinion on how businesses and organizations impact the climate.
                      0 trees planted

                      One tree is planted for every climate review written to an organization that is Open for Climate Dialogue™.

                      Download the app

                      We plant a tree for every new user.