Government revokes rule on logging in indigenous lands

The federal government revoked an administrative act by the administration of former President Jair Bolsonaro that regulated logging in indigenous lands, but which did not have any effects because, in practice, it only started to take effect last weekend.

Published in Official Diary of the Union this Monday (16), Joint Normative Instruction nº 2, of the National Foundation for Indigenous Peoples (Funai) and the Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Ibama), annulled the effects of Normative Instruction nº 12, which although it was published on December 16th, it only became effective on Sunday (15th), 30 days after publication.

According to Funai, the measure implemented last year violated the Federal Constitution and the Indian Statute, in addition to infringing international treaties to which Brazil is a signatory. One of these treaties is Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization (ILO) which, among other things, provides for prior consultation with indigenous communities, which was not being complied with, according to federal agencies.

“The institutions [Funai e Ibama] decided to revoke [da norma de dezembro] considering that it violated constitutional articles, offended articles of the Statute of the Indigenous People and affronted the principle of consultation and prior, free and informed consent of indigenous peoples, established by Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization”, justified Funai, in a note.

revoked act

Last month, when it was still subordinated to the Ministry of Justice and Public Security, the indigenist body justified the issue of the first normative instruction by assuring that it “established the guidelines and procedures for sustainable forest management in indigenous lands”.

On the occasion, Funai informed, in a note, that the authorization for indigenous organizations or those with mixed composition to develop extractive activities in areas of the Union of exclusive use of different indigenous peoples would allow the expansion of “income generation” in the villages.

The foundation also assured that the regulation of sustainable management in indigenous areas would help combat illegal deforestation; that communities would be consulted and that the entire management process would be properly supervised.

At the end of last year, the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office (MPF) had already questioned the norm, opening an inquiry to investigate logging in indigenous lands. At the time, the agency gave Ibama and Funai ten days to detail the studies that served as the basis for authorizing forest management.

new management

Yesterday, when announcing the repeal of the norm that had completed one month, Funai released a new note – already under the management of the Lula government – ​​in which it claims to have found that the affected indigenous peoples either had not been consulted about the undertakings or had not consented with natural resource management projects presented by organizations with a mixed composition.

“Therefore, the Normative Instruction [nº 12, de dezembro] violated the international commitment assumed by the Brazilian State when Convention 169 was signed”, maintained Funai, adding that the normative instruction published at the end of the Bolsonaro government “frontally offended the exclusive enjoyment of the riches of the soil, rivers and lakes existing therein” and “offended the right to an ecologically balanced environment”, both provided for in the Federal Constitution.

In her personal Twitter account, the Minister of Indigenous Peoples, Sônia Guajajara, recalled that, in practice, the normative instruction that “facilitates the exploitation of timber resources in indigenous lands” would come into force this Monday, when it was revoked. “Our commitment is to the protection of indigenous lands,” wrote the minister, referring to the current federal administration.

Translated to english by RJ983

From Brazil, by EBC News