Into the heart of the Amazon - The Greenpeace Deni Indian expedition February - March 2001

Last edited 19 March 2001 at 9:00am

deni bannerGreenpeace is developing projects in close partnership with local communities and organisations by supporting the self-demarcation of the Deni indigenous peoples lands. Greenpeace is providing a step towards the protection of a remote forest area under threat from multinational logging companies.

Greenpeace has just started its latest expedition to the Deni Indian lands in the western Brazilian Amazon, which will last for just under a month. The purpose of this trip is to properly document the work Greenpeace have been doing since 1999 with the Deni and to images and testimonials we need to pressure the Brazilian government to legally demarcate their traditional lands.

In 1999 Greenpeace first went to the Deni land by riverboat from Manaus to check the status of 151,000 hectares of Deni land that had been purchased by the Malaysian logging giant WTK without them knowing.

To ensure the demarcation is successful Greenpeace has been working alongside the Indigenist NGO's (CIMI and OPAN) to assist the Deni communities to develop the practical information and skills needed to take direct charge of the demarcation of their own land, in order to shut WTK out of the area.

The Deni area is very remote, and they are without electricity, telephones, a written language, postal service, health care and access to education. They are only marginally in the cash economy, living for the most part traditionally (hunting and small crop growing) and trading only small volumes of copaiba oil and other extractive products.

In Brazil, once Indian land is legally demarcated it is held in perpetuity for the Indian communities. This will mean no industrial activities are allowed on their traditional land.

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