Brazilian Officials Accept Forest Dwellers as Conservation Allies
Environment News Service
SANTAREM, Brazil, June 24, 2005 (ENS) -
Traditional populations - Indians, descendants of runaway slaves, traditional fishermen, peasants, and communities engaged in extractive activities - are gaining greater official recognition as important allies in the fight to preserve the Amazon forest environment.
This recognition was evident in a debate on environmental management today in Santarém, according to the state-run Agencia Brasil. The debate is taking place on the second day of the National Seminar to Evaluate the Pilot Program for the Protection of Tropical Forests in Brazil.
The Pilot Program was created in 1992 as a result of the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, and implementation began in 1995.
"When there are traditional inhabitants in conservation units, the protection of nature becomes effective," declared Leonel Teixeira, who represented the Ministry of Environment (MMA) in the discussion on territorial organization and environmental management.
Teixeira was referring to the struggle by the National Council of Latex Gatherers for the creation of the first extractive reserves in the state of Acre.
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