Amazon Indigenous leaders promote reforestation for degraded forest lands

By Isadora Machado

January 25, 2024 at 1:00 PM

By Isadora Machado

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil's agricultural research agency Embrapa on Wednesday opened an online learning program called "Sowing forests on Indigenous lands" to help Amazon communities reforest degraded land in the rainforest and beyond.

The initiative, which is backed by the French government, was launched by Kayapó Chief Raoni Metuktire, a tireless environmental campaigner for the Amazon and Chief Almir of the Suruí people.

Embrapa's course will focus on how to collect, germinate and store tree seeds, and later units will show how to build greenhouses to grow seedlings of local tree species and eventually how to plant them.

The aim is to encourage dozens of villages in the Amazon and elsewhere to plant one million trees a year, Embrapa said.

The purpose is to recover degraded forest lands destroyed by illegal loggers and gold miners, land-grabbing invaders who cleared trees to make way for cattle pastures, and forest fires.

"Reforestation will help balance the climate. With more trees there will be less heat on our lands," Raoni told Reuters.

Surui Chief Almir said the program will start with 10 Indigenous territories, including the Xingu National Park, Brazil's first reservation that has been besieged by commercial farming, and the largest one, the Yanomami reservation bordering with Venezuela that has the most degraded lands due to mining.

"Reforesting will reduce the degradation of Indigenous lands and, ultimately, contribute to Brazil achieving its goals in slowing climate change," he said in an interview.

(Reporting by Isadora Machado and Anthony Boadle; Editing by Aurora Ellis,)


Reuters is a news agency owned by Thomson Reuters Corporation. It employs around 2,500 journalists and 600 photojournalists in about 200 locations worldwide. Reuters is one of the largest news agencies in the world.

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