Brazil’s National Institute of Colonization and Agrarian Reform (Incra) and the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Ibama) will work together on forest management in the agrarian reform settlements of the Amazon.
A technical cooperation agreement between the two organs was signed today in Brasília, during the National Meeting of Incra Superintendents and Commissioners of the Ministry of Agrarian Development.
The idea is to reconcile agrarian reform, the environment, and economic development by controlling the burnings and deforestation practiced by rural workers settled in the region. The goal is to establish a new model of utilization that treats the forest as a source of income.
“It is important to demonstrate that the forest is worth more standing than fallen. And this is true for both large and small settlements,” emphasized the president of the Ibama, Marcus Barros.
In his view, the agreement marks the beginning of rational use of timber resources on small properties. Barros explained that the degree of deforestation on small settlements taken as a whole is very high.
Barros admits that abolishing burnings in Brazilian rural culture is not an easy task, but it is perfectly possible through the rapport between Incra and Ibama.
He points out that, to the extent that new techniques of deforestation and controlled burnings replace the indiscriminate use of fire, it is possible to revert this situation.
As an example, he cited the case of Roraima, in which the traditional burnings practically didn’t appear in the media this year, because the incidence of deforestation through the use of fire was very small. “This proves we are on the right path,” he declared.
Fight Against Deforestation
The Abunã Point Operation will continue until the end of December in the border region between the states of Amazonas, Acre, and Rondônia.
The operation, which began last month, seeks to save the Amazon region from burnings, deforestation, illegal hardwood extraction, wild animal and gemstone traffic, and even slave-like labor.
The Executive Manager of the Ibama (Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources) in the state of Acre, Anselmo Forneck, explains that the operation is part of the National Plan to Combat Deforestation and Burnings and that the results have been positive.
“With Ibama’s coordination and participation by the Federal Police, the Army, the Amazon Protection System, and the Federal Attorney’s Office of Amazonas State, we have been able to prevent 70% to 80% of the deforestation in that area, in comparison with the past two years,” Forneck affirms.
Since the project was launched by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and the Minister of Environment, Marina Silva, over 2 thousand cubic meters of wood, as well as countless chainsaws, tractors, and other equipment, have been apprehended.
With the help of the Ministry of Labor and the Federal Attorney’s Office, the operation has also been combatting slave-like labor in the region.
Forneck also underscores the identification of a large number of back roads cleared by woodsmen and the deforestation of land by squatters.
“The region has something on the order of a thousand kilometers of clandestinely cleared roads. Now, with the monitoring of the area, everything that is transported illegally on these roads can be seized,” he explains.