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Funai revokes rule that made logging more flexible on indigenous lands


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Funai (National Foundation of Indigenous Peoples) revoked this Monday (16) the normative instruction that made logging more flexible in indigenous lands, allowing non-indigenous people to participate in management.

Published at the end of the government of former President Jair Bolsonaro (PL), the instruction created the “sustainable forest management plan”.

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The creation of management plans is not uncommon and allows exceptions to be made to the law. Documents obtained by Sheethowever, indicate that the plan published by the Bolsonaro government could meet the interests of loggers, who had been pressing for it, and that the norm has been gestating in the bodies for some time.

Official letters to which the report had access show that companies in the timber sector had been questioning Funai, as early as 2021, about the feasibility of creating a “pilot project” for a sustainable management plan for wood.

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At the time, the foundation, according to the documents, understood that there was no “legal impediment” to such an activity, but that it lacked regulation and that “inter-institutional articulations between Funai and Ibama were being carried out for the construction of a joint normative instruction” to resolve the issue.

THE Sheet it also had access to official letters exchanged between Funai and Ibama, including by their presidents, in the course of 2022, which debate the creation of the plan for logging.

In January of last year, for example, Marcelo Xavier wrote to Eduardo Bim to request that “the respective adaptations be made to the draft” on the forest management plan in ILs.

There is, within the indigenous movement, a debate about the regulation, or not, of logging activity in indigenous lands. There are even communities that demand the creation of rules for extraction.

The rule edited by Bolsonaro in December 2022 allowed the exploitation of wood by indigenous peoples, but also by societies with a mixed composition, and defines these as: “a form of association or cooperative where the participation of non-indigenous people is admitted, provided that this participation is less than fifty percent (50%)”.

It also made way for the “opening of roads, patios and branches” and the “construction of special works of art, such as bridges, roads, drainage works and others”, in addition to “buildings”.

Historically, indigenous territories have concentrated some of the largest areas of preserved forest in Brazil. Under the Bolsonaro government, however, deforestation in these areas has skyrocketed.

The Planeta em Transe project is supported by the Open Society Foundations.

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