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ClientEarth Communications

1st January 0001


A proposed new law is threatening the rights of Indigenous Peoples in Brazil

On 30 May, the lower house of the Brazilian Congress passed a Bill that threatens the rights of Indigenous Peoples to their ancestral lands. The Bill - introduced by a group of lawmakers that represent agri-businesses - places restrictions on the demarcation or legal recognition of Indigenous territories, making way for use of the land by agriculture, mining and logging industries. It is now under consideration by the upper house of the Brazilian Congress, the Senate.

ClientEarth is deeply concerned about the consideration by the Brazilian Senate of this Bill and the severe threat it poses to the rights of Indigenous Peoples and to the environment.

Denying Indigenous Peoples access to their ancestral lands violates their human rights under international law, including their right to life, to traditional livelihoods, to culture and to a healthy environment. The Bill will also have serious adverse environmental, biodiversity and climate impacts. Indigenous territories often overlap with native ecosystems, such as the Amazon rainforest and Cerrado savanna.

Indigenous Peoples prove to be the most effective at protecting native ecosystems and their biodiversity. Tropical forests and savannas play an important role in regulating the global climate by sequestering and storing carbon. Degradation and loss of ecosystems therefore also causes greenhouse gas emissions, as the carbon that was stored in trees and plants is released into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. Indeed, deforestation and forest degradation is the second largest source of greenhouse gas emissions globally. By denying Indigenous Peoples legal title over their lands, this Bill threatens the ecosystems they house and poses serious climate risks.

ClientEarth stands in solidarity with the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil and calls for the protection of their fundamental rights and the preservation of their ancestral lands. We recognise the important role that Indigenous Peoples play in the protection of the environment and biodiversity, and in the global effort to prevent and mitigate climate change.

Read our full statement.