Brazil’s Push to Protect Biodiversity Involves Indians and Slaves Descendants

The purpose of the commission created last week, as part of the Week of the Environment, to coordinate Brazil’s National Strategic Plan for Protected Areas is to formulate strategies aimed at protecting lands belonging to Indians and descendants of runaway slaves ("quilombolas").

The idea is to organize an integrated action involving the three branches of government, together with environmentalists, social movements, and entrepreneurs, the Ministry of Environment’s secretary of Forest Biodiversity, João Capobianco, told the TV Nacional yesterday, June 13.

Capobianco affirmed that the commission plans to launch a collective effort in Brazil to get the protected areas – national parks, ecological stations, indigenous territories, and quilombola areas – to play their role in protecting biodiversity.

"This integrated effort is the way for us to advance most quickly."

According to the secretary, the creation of the plan represents an innovation, because previous debates concerning the protection of biodiversity were focused exclusively on environmental reserves.

The new initiative is permanent, he says, and determines goals to be achieved by the 188 signatory countries by 2010.

"By 2010 Brazil hopes to offer the world not a solution to the problem, which cannot be resolved all at once, but a demonstration of concrete steps that diminish the enormous loss of biodiversity in the country."

ABr

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