Last update:

Biopalma against indigenous Tembé in the Amazon, Brazil

The indigenous Tembé denounce the mining company VALE and Biopalma, for contaminating the water sources with agrotoxics (such as endosulfan) in the new large oil palm plantations in Pará.


Since 2006, oil palm expanded over the Pará region. The company VALE  grabbed land in this region, consequently, many people was dispossessed  from their territory and forest was destroyed [3].

See more
Basic Data
Name of conflict:Biopalma against indigenous Tembé in the Amazon, Brazil
State or province:Pará
Location of conflict:Turé Mariquita and Tekinai
Accuracy of locationMEDIUM (Regional level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Management)
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Water access rights and entitlements
Land acquisition conflicts
Specific commodities:Land
Palm oil
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Their oil palm plantations are located in the Mojú, Tomé-açu, Concóndia do Pará, Bajaiú, Iguarapé-Miri y Acará. Oil palm employs 10,900 people. In 2012, oil palm covered 140,000 hectares in Pará, and 67% of the production went to the food and cosmetics industries and 33 % to biofuels, according to a study by agronomist D’Alembert Jaccoud [6]. Biopalma produces biodiesel for Vale's locomotives, "clean energy" allegedly saving CO2 emissions. Pará is the main producer of palm oil (dende) in Brasil.

See more
Project area:140,000
Level of Investment for the conflictive project500,000,000
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:27,000
Start of the conflict:2006
Company names or state enterprises:Biopalma da Amazônia S.A (Biopalma) from Brazil
Vale (Vale) from Brazil
Relevant government actors:Gobierno do Pará
Ministério Público Federal
Promotoria de Justiça, Região Agrária do Pará
International and Finance InstitutionsBanco da Amazonia (BASA) from Brazil
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Instituto Evandro Chagas (IEC)
World Rainforest Movement (WRI)
Conselho Indigenista Missionario (CIMI)
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Indigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Trade unions
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Local scientists/professionals
Religious groups
També indigenous group
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Occupation of vehicles belonging to the company
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Soil contamination, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Other Environmental impactsWater contamination by endosulfan
Health ImpactsVisible: Occupational disease and accidents, Other environmental related diseases
Other Health impactsIllness from water contamination with endosulfan: blisters, or rashes on their skin, fever and vomiting, also
re-emergence of illnesses such such as Chagas disease.
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Land dispossession
Potential: Militarization and increased police presence, Violations of human rights
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Migration/displacement
Under negotiation
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The land grabbing and the water grabbing and polluting continues. Use of endosulfan.
Sources & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[1] Violence against Indigenous Peoples in Brazil
[click to view]

[5] Public Ministry web. Biopalma against indigenous manidestation
[click to view]

[6] Oil Palm Expands on Deforested Land in Brazil’s Rainforest
[click to view]

[2] Índios Tembé apreendem carros e tratores da Biopalma contra contaminação por agrotóxicos
[click to view]

[4] Contaminação por agrotóxicos é detectada em região do Pará. The renowned Public Health Institute Evandro Chagas of Belém confirmed those accusations with the detection of agrotoxins in water sources
[click to view]

Índios apreendem veículos durante protesto contra empresa no PA
[click to view]

[[7]Biopalma inaugura primeira usina de extração de óleo de palma no Pará. Assessoria de Imprensa Biopalma 26 Jun 2012. "A Biopalma da Amazônia S.A., empresa da Vale em sociedade com o Grupo MSP, inaugura hoje a sua primeira usina extratora de palma (dendê), localizada no município de Moju, a 150 km" de Belém. "
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

Biopalma-Vale programme of oil palm production by family farming
[click to view]

Rádio Nacional da Amazônia
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:SM (ICTA-UAB)
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:2434
Legal notice / Aviso legal
We use cookies for statistical purposes and to improve our services. By clicking "Accept cookies" you consent to place cookies when visiting the website. For more information, and to find out how to change the configuration of cookies, please read our cookie policy. Utilizamos cookies para realizar el análisis de la navegación de los usuarios y mejorar nuestros servicios. Al pulsar "Accept cookies" consiente dichas cookies. Puede obtener más información, o bien conocer cómo cambiar la configuración, pulsando en más información.