The creation of two extractive reserves in Pará, in the North of Brazil, did away with land disputes, as well as ensuring protection of the environment and the survival of families living in the region.
In the extractive reserves of Riozinho do Anfrísio, in Altamira, and Verde Para Sempre (“Forever Green”), in the city of Porto de Moz. families gain their livelihood from fishing and the extraction of latex, Brazil nuts, and copaiba and andiroba oils.
Instead of sellling what they produce, they barter with river merchants for foodstuffs such as sugar, cooking oil, and rice.
Raimundo Delmiro, who lives off extractive activities in the region, says that since the creation of the Riozinho do Anfrísio Reserve, the squatters and mercenaries that invaded the region are leaving.
“The most important thing that is happéning here is that the squatters and mercenaries who made life hell here are going away, and life here is becoming calmer,” he affirmed.
The Ministry of Environment’s secretary of Biodiversity and Forests, João Paulo Capobianco, states that the creation of the reserves ensures the protection of two million hectares in the Amazon region.
“This decision represents the protection of biodiversity and cultural diversity, as well as guaranteeing the future of the traditional populations who depend on extractive activities in the region.
“It is important to point out that these reserves were set up in an area of serious land disputes. The local residents were the victims of squatters and mercenaries who were trying to get them to leave the region, so that they could take illegal possession.” the secretary explains.
The extractive reserves are conservation units used by traditional populations whose existence depends on extractive activities, subsistence agriculture, and the breeding of small animals. The reserves ensure the rational usage of natural resources.
Translator: David Silberstein