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Brazilian Indians Say Only Property Rights Will Make Them Feel Secure

The nutritional conditions of Brazil’s indigenous peoples were discussed Wednesday, June 29, at a meeting of the Brazilian National Food and Nutritional Security Council (Consea).

The demands include a US$ 1.6 million (4 million reais) budget supplement to the Indian Portfolio in 2005 and an increase next year to bring the total to US$ 6.3 million (15 million reais), US$ 422,000 (1 million reais) of which in the form of research incentives for the Brazilian Agricultural Research Company (Embrapa) to investigate the sustainability of indigenous communities.

For the Indian representative on the Consea, Azelene Kaingang, specific measures need to be taken on behalf of indigenous communities to quell their anxieties over food and nutritional security.

Kaingang points out that the Indian Portfolio, a program created to support and encourage activities to promote food and nutritional security and sustainable development among indigenous peoples, is one of the first structural actions in this area really to reach the communities. “They recover dignity and food sovereignty,” she explains.

But she observes that, until property rights on indigenous lands are regularized, Indians will lack the security they require to live in their communities.

“Brazil is big enough. There is room for everyone. The human right to an adequate diet is tied to having land, having a place to produce an adequate food supply.”

The Consea is formed by 61 councilors – 14 Ministers, 11 observers, and 36 prominent members of organized society – who formulate proposals for government policies in the areas of food and nutrition.

ABr – www.radiobras.gov.br


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