Takuara Forest Guardians

Area​

25,323 Hectares

Ethnic Groups

Munduruku

STATUS

Officially recognized Indigenous Territory

PROGRAM

Forest Guardians operating since 2023

INDIGENOUS GUARDIANS OF THE MUNDURUKU TAKUARA TERRITORY.

Terra Indígena Munduruku Takuara, in the Municipality of Belterra PA, has been suing the Brazilian State since 1998 to finalize the administrative process of demarcation of our territory together with FUNAI, therefore, in response to late payments not processed by the competent organization. With delays in the effectiveness of the administrative process, the territory is daily violated by means of timber invasions, land grabbing and advancement of  large soy plantations within the environmental protection area.

Terra Indígena (TI) Munduruku-Takuara is located on the direct side of the Tapajós River, in the Municipality of Belterra Pará, with access to BR-163 (Santarém-Cuiabá), direction Santarém – Itaituba.

Totaling a maximum distance of 130km from the city of Santarém, passing through Belterra, you reach Indigenous land. The surface area of the Munduruku Takuara territory is 25,323 (five thousand and thirty hectares), the Indigenous community is located in the Tapajós National Forest.

Within the territory there are over 62 Indigenous families residing directly in the village and more than 20 families residing in adjacent communities with an estimated 250 people, who are dedicated to protecting the forest.

 

The guardians consist of 40 women and men, young and old who act directly in the monitoring and protection of the Indigenous land, preventing invasions and combating violations.

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Canoeing through the flooded forest in TI Takuara in April 2022.

Challenges
& Realities

To an inexperienced observer, the whole Amazonian forest may look the same, but there is a fundamental difference between a virgin forest such as this and a forest which has been exploited. In the first phase of logging, the trees that hold the most valuable tropical timber – quoted in international markets – are felled.

The second phase consists in exploiting the remaining wood. And the third and last phase is the total elimination of vegetation, generally for purposes related to industrial agriculture or extensive livestock farming. Even though its possible that the jungle can recover in due course the space that has been destroyed, the original biodiversity is extinguished forever and the carbon stored released.

Community action

Ever since the loggers’ incursions into their territory became more aggressive a few years ago, and in partnership with Treesistance, a group of men and women elected by the villages have organized themselves as a group of Forest Guardians to watch over the territory. They go around its perimeter regularly, to monitor, confront and stop illegal activities.

A commitment to defending their territory

These guardians who have grown up here, know the jungle inch by inch and dedicate their lives to defending it.

Since 2023, the guardians have been operational, making regular patrols, building an outpost and actively halting illegal encroachments

'WE USED TO FIGHT WITH THE BOW AND ARROW, NOW THE CAMERA IS OUR NEW WEAPON'
Abimael Munduruku

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