Final Notes of FOR201
Lecture 5: Conservation and Development Alliances with the Kayapo
Around 80% of tropical forests in the amazon basin are in Brazil, and 100-million ha is Indigenous territory. The designation of this
territory was done by: Environmental Defense Fund, Conservation International, The international Conservation Fund of Canada, The
Wild Foundation. This is a long-term conservation project in Brazil. The Kayapo people are important to the conservation of these
forests because they have control of over 11million ha of land mainly forests. It is located in southeastern amazon along the arc of
fire frontier indigenous lands are forested whereas land outside is logged and cleared for ranching
Tropical forests are disappearing because of logging for timber, road building, colonization, and agriculture. In Africa its for
subsistence, Asia its for palm oil, and Latin America is because of ranching.
The indigenous culturally do not deforest their land. The indigenous in this area do way more conservation then any NGO or
conservation scientist. The correlation of forest persistence with presences of American reflect traditional culture
What can we learn from them?
The 1960s to the present there has been the intensifying threat to indigenous lands located in the southeastern arc of fire frontier
zone due to:
Government plan for territorial occupation
Trans Amazon highways Belm-Braslia e PA-150
Fiscal incentives to ranch
Discovery of valuable minerals
Tucuru hydroelectric dam
Expansion of road network supports spread of ranching and logging
Persistent lack of governance in frontier region of violent conflict over land and resources
1960-1995: The Kayapo successfully translates traditional warrior culture and political organization into official recognition of rights
and control over the largest single protected block of tropical forest in the world
The correlation of forest persistence with presence of Amerindians reflects traditional culture is due to:
1) Subsistence lifestyle based on the forest and lack of capitalist monetary economy. There is no exchange of money, and culture is
not based on wealth
2) Collectively organized societies based on common property and egalitarian principles. There is no property ownership and
everyone owns the forest.
3) Political organization: this is why the forest remains intact, otherwise the forest would have been cleared. The culture is a war
based culture and leading with militant action. Men at 8 are taken from home to become war makers. Colonization hit around
1970s and 80s, and this culture had no qualms about fighting back. They got their land with hostages and fighting.
1995-present: The Kayapo form alliances with conservation NGOs in order to acquire territorial control and resource management as
outside pressure on their lands and culture continues to mount. Conservation alliances with the Kayapo present an extraordinary
opportunity to develop a model sustainable development for forested landscapes and indigenous owners
Invasion: growing outside pressure on Kayapo lands for timber, minerals and pasture. Ranches have started to move in on
Kayapo land. There are areas getting cleared. The government doesnt have a huge amount of authority, and their limited
power cannot force out all the ranchers, colonists, and loggers. The area is pretty lawless.
Cultural change (sedentary, new technologies) and need for manufactured goods and services (education, healthcare) from
Outright invasion by ranchers and colonists; They wanted all the things we have like, guns, crackers, Coca-Cola New
influences like money started to become an issue, there was arguing over resources.
Pressure to sell timber:
o With colonization people different from them and small towns based off of illegal logging and gold influenced the
Kayapo. Loggers made deals with chiefs and their job was to deal with outside culture. Chiefs assume it was good
and allowed people to log because of the resources they gained.
o The extent of illegal timber is huge. Mahogany logging was huge, then the mahogany started to run out and then the
unequal gains of the indigenous people occur.
o They realized the cons of this. There was a loss of resources, and inequality in society.
Green peace started to bring attention to where the mahogany was coming from.
The embarrassed Brazilian government attempted to stop the logging but it was out of control. They stopped trucks and closed
This happened in 2002, and now the NGOs have expanded and perfected their programs with the Kayapo to resist predatory
1 degradation of the culture and resources
The Objective was to contribute to empowerment of Kayapo communities for territorial control, sustainable management and
preservation of the great forests on which their culture, livelihood and future is based.
The Strategy is to support Kayapo communities to strengthen capacity in the 21st century for:
1. Territorial protection/control
Training in surveillance techniques
Equipment, fuel and supplies for patrol expeditions
Over flight verification
2. Sustainable economic development
3. New political institutions
Territorial Control Program Results: decreased invasion incidence
A Kayapo patrol apprehends illegal gold miners in Bau indigenous territory
A joint Kayapo and IBAMA patrol removes illegal loggers from Kayapo territory
2005 -ranchers invade Kayapo territory in the north (yellow and red is clearing)
2006 -invaders removed by Kayapo and FUNAI
Implementation of Conservation and Development Projects with Amerindian Communities
The Key to Success is:
Benefits must be tied directly to conservation and collect all members of the community
The conservation and development initiative must be tailored to local capacity and not rely heavily on hierarchical authority
structure that is outside the experience of egalitarian cultures such as the Kayapo;
Outside agencies must subsidize long-term technical and administrative support. Sustainable economic alternatives for Kayapo
communities based on non-timber forest products. Collective organization and property is good to keep loggers out. One
person cant have a deal they must collectively decide. They continue to want an income without degrading their lands.
o Brazil nuts
o Benefits reach everyone
o They grow abundantly
Income Generation Program Results: The equitable distribution of income generated from conservation enterprises empowers
communities to resist seductive offers made by loggers, gold miners and fishermen seeking predatory exploitation of the rich
resources on Kayapo lands
Institutional Strengthening: Our NGOs work with local Kayapo NGOs to build capacity for administration and program
Overall Program Results: Where we have the opportunity to implement the full program of territorial control and income generation
in conjunction with institutional strengthening, no invasions or illegal activities occur.
Inhibition of Amazon Deforestation and Fire by Parks and Indigenous Lands: Nepstad et al 2006
Protected areas are important including those with resident human populations and without. This is an effective global strategy to
preserve tropical forests. Approximately 2 million km2 of tropical forest is already protected for indigenous peoples, so biodiversity is
protected in these areas. Half of this land is Brazilian forest.
Excuses to exclude indigenous from protected lands include:
The assumed ultimately they will adopt non-cultural ways of exploitation from neighboring nonindigenous.
Land conversion to agriculture has made the effort to include indigenous in protected areas difficult.
The assumption that the conservation value of uninhabited parks is higher than reserves with human residents remains untested.
This paper compared results from satellite-based comparison of the inhibitory effects of protected areas that prohibit human habitation
(parks, biological reserves, ecological stations) and those that permit habitation (indigenous lands, extractive reserves, and national
forests) on deforestation and fire within the Brazilian Amazon.
A reserve inhibits deforestation only if it
I. Slows the expansion of economic activities (i.e., protects natural resources that would otherwise be exploited)
II. Prevents or lessens the effects of investments in roads and other infrastructure that cause direct environmental damages and/or
that indirectly raise natural resource exploitation
III. Prevents agricultural settlementseither planned or spontaneousmotivated by agrarian reform pressures
Deforestation is indicated by satellite detection of forest replacement by cattle pastures and agricultural systems, and by detection of
the fires that are used as part of the forest-clearing process and in the maintenance of cattle pastures. We measured deforestation
inhibition by comparing average annual deforestation rates located along the inside and outside of the reserve perimeter.
2 Inhibition of deforestation was highest for the parks (20-fold), intermediate for the national forests (9.5-fold) and indigenous lands
(8.2-fold), and lowest for extractive reserves