Amazon’s indigenous people ‘at risk as deforestation surges in tribal lands’

Advocacy group Instituto Socioambiental notes between January and October this year, more than 24,000 hectares of forest were cleared illegally within indigenous lands

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The Amazon’s indigenous people are at significant risk as deforestation surges in tribal lands.

That’s the warning from advocacy group Instituto Socioambiental, which notes between January and October this year, more than 24,000 hectares of forest were cleared illegally within indigenous areas, 61% more than in the same period in 2018.

The group collected satellite imagery showing an area of around 1,861 hectares has been cut down in the Ituna Itata region alone during 2019 – they said the damage has largely been inflicted by illegal loggers, miners and militias and notes it threatens an uncontacted indigenous tribe.

Many tribes still depend on the unspoiled forest for their survival by hunting animals and gathering food.

The group stressed the ‘deforestation barrier’ represented by protected areas, called Indigenous Lands and Conservation Units, is ‘under the greatest attack’ it has suffered in 11 years, with the rate of deforestation in these regions having increased by 60% between January and October 2018 and 2019.

The group claims this is despite the total rate of deforestation in the basin having risen by only 8% across the same period, suggesting indigenous areas are being disproportionately affected.

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