Once again another of Brazil’s uncontacted Indian tribes has been spotted in the country. This time, in a dense region of the Amazon jungle close to the Peruvian border, according to the National Indian Foundation (FUNAI). A couple of years ago another tribe was spotted in the same area in an Ethno-Environmental Protected Area along the Envira River.
The Indian community was located through an aerial expedition near Vale do Javari, a very secluded area in the depths of the Amazon Jungle. According to the Foundation, the tribe has no contact with modern civilization.
The confirmation of the existence of the tribe has been established after a flight over that particular region. Observers noted the presence of four rudimentary housing constructions, known as malocas, in which over 200 Indians could be living, says FUNAI.
The malocas were located first by satellite what led anthropologists to check the information through a flight over the region. The Foundation has a policy of not maintaining any human contact with untouched tribes. Corn crops, nut and banana trees were also spotted indicating agricultural activity.
According to the anthropologist and FUNAI coordinator Fabrício Amorim, “the Amazon region contains the majority of untouched tribes without any contact with the exterior in the world.”
FUNAI estimates that over eight Indian tribes were spotted in the region and other 14 accounts of sightings have been reported.
Amorim said those communities are sometimes threatened by “illegal fishing and hunting activities, drug traffickers, illegal crops, mining, missioners and deforestation.”
UK’s Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg praised Brazil as an “environmental super-power” underlining the country’s leadership in areas such as renewable energies which he described as one of the pillars of the ‘green economy’ for a more sustainable world.
During the first day of his visit Clegg met with São Paulo governor Geraldo Alckmin and talked about trade, investments and possible joint ventures, and later was the main speaker at the forum “UK and Brazil: an association for developing innovation in green businesses.”
“The green economy will be one of the pillars of the new social, environmental and sustainable economy that we all want to build. And Brazil has the leadership in power generation and ethanol,” said Clegg at the forum.
Governor Alckmin said that Brazil is interested in the UK experiences such as the Green Bank which was recently launched to promote investments in new energies: “they are necessary investments to help with technological and research support in developing green projects.”
Deputy PM Clegg is visiting Brazil with a delegation that includes several ministers, business leaders, academics and sports’ industry figures. From São Paulo he travels to Brasília where he is scheduled to meet Vice President Michel Tamer and Foreign Affairs minister Antonio Patriota.
In the last day of the tour Clegg and the delegation will visit Petrobras headquarters, the Maracanã stadium and other infrastructure under construction for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games to be hosted by Brazil.
Besides green energy another top issue of the agenda is the possibility of partnerships in sports events, given the fact that London will be hosting the 2012 Olympics.
The significant British visit to Brazil is seen as the UK offensive in countries which it considers the stars of coming decades, as was announced in a milestone speech at Canning House last year by foreign Secretary William Hague.
The Foreign Secretary was scheduled to visit Brazil at the beginning of the year but the Libyan crisis in which the UK and France are playing a leading role, forced the postponement of the visit.
“My visit is a firm step towards the renewal of links with Latin America. The size and nature of my delegation reflects the significance we assign to close relations with Brazil,” said Clegg in a brief statement released by the British embassy in Brasília.
“We strongly believe that engaging with emerging powers such as Brazil is the path to follow and besides we have much in common with Brazil: essential values such as democracy and human rights and a firm commitment to promote integration between north and south.”
A meeting has been scheduled between fifteen British university deans and their Brazilian peers to discuss initiatives in the education field. Both countries are interested in sharing technology research and a greater students’ exchange program.
In Rio Deputy PM Clegg will be giving a conference at the 2016 Olympic Games headquarters on the legacy and sustainability of hosting and organizing Olympic and Para-Olympic games.
But in spite of the display, Martin Raven former UK Consul General in São Paulo in a piece with BBC says “British business has taken a long time to take Brazil seriously.” Mr. Raven recalls that the most common phrase he heard from visiting British business people was “I had no idea!”
Although some large companies – including HSBC, Diageo, Anglo-American, Cadbury, Rolls Royce, GKN, BAT, BP, Shell and BG – have had a presence in Brazil for many years, several sectors have been ignored. Defense sales have been poor, the retail sector has been absent, and telecoms have left the field to the competition.
And meantime the competition has done well: there are now more international German companies in São Paulo alone than in any individual city in Germany.
Raven points out that trading with Brazil is a tough job, “but it will pay off in the end.”
“Brazil is a country of huge contrasts, and for all the caricatures of beaches, Carnaval, football and violence, there is a depth and breadth in its economy which mean that UK companies have to take the market seriously.”
Therefore “more high-level visits please and not exclusively promoting trade because Brazil should be a partner for the UK in so many other issues – development, climate change, peace-keeping, sport and many, many other sectors,” concludes Raven.