The Valladolid City Council gives its support for sustainable Amazonian villages and the villagers rights to guarantee the conservation of its jungle.
Many inhabitants in the Tapaua rural regions have been living during many generations in lands that they do not legally own. They practice a survival economy and are well integrated in their environment so as to live of what the jungle offers without overexploiting it, only taking from it what is necessary to survive. They could not live without it.
The Amazon is one of the areas most threatened in the world even though it is of global importance for climate control. The natives are never a threat to the Amazons but global economical interests don’t mind exploiting it for effortless profit: timber, livestock, fishing, soybean plantations after burning down the forest, companies wanting extensive property ownership.
This threatens the locals’ way of life which is already in itself limited because of its location, lack of communication with the rest of society, no public services (schools, clinics, means of transportation), and sometimes their own life’s are threatened when they oppose the big companies.
The Augustinian Recollects and the Labrea Church Prelature want to show their support to these communities by developing various programs and projects. Part of the missionaries’ work is to create, strengthen and promote base communities which have an important role in defending people’s rights, respect for human dignity and culture and tradition preservation amongst the indigenous.
The Valladolid City Council gave a donation of 7,700 euros for this cause. Their help will be destined for paying the food and lodging, materials, and all the trips that will be needed to give the workshops and attend follow-up meetings with the Earth Pastoral Ministry which reunites some fifty community leaders. There are great distances to travel for days on motorboats through the rivers.
The grant was petitioned and received by ARCORES, the Augustinian Recollect International Solidarity Network, what used to be the non-profit organization called Haren Alde.
This is how the natives will receive assessment in becoming legal land owners and avoid corporations and companies from taking their lands to exploit the natural resources and living spaces of some 1,800 families that live in the Abufari Biological Reserve or Federal Government owned properties.
The communities will also be able to strongly negotiate with public authorities and the city and state administrations for basic services such as education, health, housing, transportation and other economic developmental projects.
The main three day workshops will be held on May of 2019 in Tapaua, with a follow-up workshop in June more orientated to sustainable fishing and farming.