US Prize Winner Brazilian Environmentalist Favors Family Farming in the Amazon

TarcÀ­sio Feitosa, a social activist from the Terra do Meio ("Middle Ground") region of the northern Brazilian state of Pará, was one of yesterday’s, April 24, winners of the Golden Environment Prize, regarded as the world’s most important prize for defenders of the environment. The prize was awarded in San Francisco, California.

Feitosa, 34, was born and raised in Altamira, in the Xingu region, also in Pará, which is part of the Amazon basin. He now belongs to a people’s alliance to protect the tropical forest and local communities.

His prize, in the South and Central American category, was in recognition of his efforts on behalf of human rights and environmental protection and sustainable development in the Xingu and Terra do Meio regions.

He began his work at the age of 15, as a volunteer in the struggle to demarcate indigenous territories. He remained active in this area until 2000.

"In that region, we receive an education closely oriented towards the communities. There is an awareness concerning the situation of the indigenous peoples and the traditional populations," he says.

In 2000 Feitosa became involved in a movement opposed to the illegal extraction of mahogany wood. He documented this illicit activity and reported it to government agencies.

His initiative led to the confiscation of 6000 illegally removed mahogany logs, which were later sold in an auction that netted US$ 1.5 million, used to create a fund to underwrite sustainable development and conservation efforts in the region.

In 2002 Feitosa started working on studies to create conservation units in the Xingu basin. He is currently a member of the Land Pastoral Commission and one of the coordinators of the Movement for the Development of the Transamazon and Xingu (MTDX), a network of non-governmental organizations gathered under two banners, he says: "showing that family farming and the peoples of the forest can coexist with the forest and halting the construction of five dams in the region."

He points out that one of the dams – the Belmonte Dam – is already under construction (despite having been temporarily blocked by the courts), and the other four are in the analysis stage.

"These dams represent the destruction of this great ecological corridor, which will be completed by the creation of the conservation units," he explains.

Besides Feitosa, this year’s Goldman Environment Prize winners include social activists involved in the struggle to preserve the Danube River, the safe storage of chemical weapons wastes produced in the United States, the defense of forests in Liberia, the end of illegal logging in Papua New Guinea, and respect for society in dam construction in China.

Agência Brasil

Tags:

You May Also Like

Drug Security: Brazil Gets Its Own US Pharmacopeia Branch

The standards-setting authority for all prescription and over-the-counter medicines made or sold in the ...

The Yanomami Bluff and Other Myths

Forgotten by the Brazilian authorities for half the millennium, relegated to the condition of ...

60% of Wood Cut in Brazilian Amazon Goes to Waste

Studies by Brazil’s Amazonian Institute for Man and the Environment (IMAZON), a non-governmental organization ...

Why Can’t Brazil Be More Like Venezuela?

Caracas does not have many tourist sights, but were a visitor to write the ...

Gunmen Kill One Indian and Hurt Four Others In Land Dispute in Brazil

A Guarani Indian was shot dead early on Sunday morning, June 26, by heavily ...

Brazilian train

A US$ 37 Billion Secret Project to Make Brazil and South America US and EU Friendly

The project for Integration of South American Regional Infrastructure (IIRSA, by its initials in ...

Brazilian Music: Minimalist Luciana

Luciana Souza has miraculously managed to elude the trap that besets so many of ...

Contradicting Experts Brazilian Jobless Reach 10.7%. Worst in 15 months

Brazil’s unemployment rate for July, 10.7%, is the highest one in 15 months, according ...

An Exchange

Debate Goes OnBy If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle ...

Silicon Valley South

Belo Horizonte entrepreneurs are part of a movement to wean Brazil’s computers from dependence ...