Activists from the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior joined local community members from the Resex Verde para Sempre Reserve today to declare an end to the sale of an illegal farm inside the protected area. The “Not for Sale” sign installed on the land wrongfully up for auction reads “Verde para Sempre” or “Forever Green”.
A 7.200 hectare logging farm located inside the reserve is up for auction by a public bank (Caixa Economica Federal) to collect a debt owed from years ago by the logging company, “Medida Certa Madeiras”. The fact that the courts are willing to allow a public auction on an illegal logging farm inside the reserve proves that lack of governance has left the creation of the reserve without implementation.
The Verde Para Sempre Reserve was created in 2004, following four years of intense campaigning, supported by local communities. According to the presidential decree issued for its creation “the reserve has the objective of ensuring the sustainable use and conservation of natural resources, protecting the ways of life and the culture of the local extractivist population.” Eight years later the reserve is still open for destruction.
The land regularisation process isn’t moving forward, illegal farmers continue to claim ownership and loggers remain active inside the reserve. The local communities suffer without full access to the reserve’s natural resources. None of the necessary “concession of use” permits have been granted in the community and the mandatory reserve land management plan hasn’t been completed.
Resex Verde para Sempre is a strong example of how lack of governance is contributing to the destruction of the Amazon.
In 2009, the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise was back in the region calling once again for an end to illegal deforestation by cattle ranchers inside the reserve. The Federal Government responded with promises to speed up the expropriation of farmers and to increase the government presence in the region. These promises were empty and the same problems continue to plague the forest and its people today.
The local and federal government’s reaction to the widespread illegality destroying the Amazon is slow and inadequate. Greenpeace is calling for a Zero Deforestation Law in Brazil.