Cattle Raising Is Making Brazil’s Reserve into a Huge Grazing Land

Satellite images reveal that approximately 3% of the 950,570 hectares that form the Chico Mendes Extractive Reserve (Resex), in the Northern Brazilian state of Acre, has been converted to grazing land.

This information comes from the National Council for the Sustained Development of Traditional Populations (CNPT), an organ of the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Ibama).


“Compared with some years ago, cattle-raising has made big advances, for want of alternatives for people to survive. The easiest way for them to make money is to raise and sell cattle, since the packing plants go there to buy,” said 26 year-old Odinéia Teixeira, who was born on the reserve and lived there until she was 22.


Her family still lives there. “Beef cattle are destroying the forest in the Chico Mendes Resex,” charged Luciano Mattos, a researcher with the Brazilian Agricultural Research Enterprise (Embrapa).


According to Raimundo Francisco de Souza, head of the CNPT in Acre, the situation is still under control.


“Ibama is taking steps to prevent the advance of cattle raising in the Chico Mendes Resex. We are doing a field survey with the Global Positioning System (GPS) – a device that gives the latitude and the longitude of the locale – to verify what has already been cut down and the size of the herd.


“This study should be concluded in August. The local Ibama office will also publish a Service Order shortly, prohibiting grazing in areas where deforestation has been authorized on any of the state’s extractive reserves,” Souza revealed.


According to Souza, 1,794 families, a total of 8,970 people, presently live on the reserve.


ABr – www.radiobras.gov.br

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