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Deforestion and land confict in Gleba Nova Olinda, Para, Brazil


This conflict pits timber traders and landowners against communities carrying out small scale extractive activities. In 2009, the conflict came to a head when people from over 40 indigenous and traditional communities, frustrated after more than a decade of failed negotiations with the state for territorial rights closed the Arapiuns River to logging traffic and sequestered two barges full of timber. The protestors blockaded the river for a month waiting for the state and federal governments to address the problem. At the end they set fire to the 2,000 cubic meters of wood on the barges. The fires blazed on for three days.[1] The Gleba Nova Olinda has a total area of about 87,000 hectares and is located in the municipality of Santarém, Pará state, Brazil. It is composed of state public land with a rich and abundant sociobiodiversity, being occupied by 14 communities (Sao Raimundo do Alto Arua, Sao Francisco, Novo Paraiso, Cachoeira do Arua, Gapo Açu, Sao Luís,Sociedade dos Parentes, Fe em Deus, Vista Alegre, Repartimento, Mariazinha), three of which are indigenous communities (Sao Jose III, Novo Lugar e Cachoeira do Maro) of the Borari people. Located in the area of influence of the BR-163 road, it is characterized by highly dynamic and violent processes due to the rapid formation of land and labor markets.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Deforestion and land confict in Gleba Nova Olinda, Para, Brazil
State or province:Para
Location of conflict:Santarem
Accuracy of locationLOW (Country level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Management)
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Plantation conflicts (incl. Pulp
Intensive food production (monoculture and livestock)
Specific commodities:Land
Project Details and Actors
Project details

,000 hectares of land has been given illegally to farmers and timber companies.

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Project area:87000
Type of populationRural
Affected Population:600
Start of the conflict:1999
Company names or state enterprises:Cooperativa dos produtores do Oeste do Para/Western Pará Rural Producers Cooperative (Cooepar) from Brazil
Rondobel Industria e Comercio de Madeira/Rondobel Insustry and Trade of Timber from Brazil
Relevant government actors:Land Institute of Para - ITERPA, Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural, Resources - IBAMA., State Department of Technology and Environment - SECTAM, Federal Public Ministry - MPF, Forestry Development of the State of Para - IDEFLOR, National Indian Foundation - FUNAI
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Pastoral Land Commission (CPT), Federation of Agricultural Workers (FETRAGRI), Rural Workers Unions (STR) of Western Pará (STR) Greenpeace
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Local ejos
Trade unions
Local scientists/professionals
Fisher people
Forms of mobilization:Blockades
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Land occupation
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Objections to the EIA
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Property damage/arson
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Potential: Desertification/Drought, Floods (river, coastal, mudflow), Food insecurity (crop damage), Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil erosion, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Health ImpactsVisible: Violence related health impacts (homicides, rape, etc..), Deaths
Potential: Accidents, Malnutrition, Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Health problems related to alcoholism, prostitution, Occupational disease and accidents, Infectious diseases
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Displacement, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession
Potential: Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures
Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Deaths, Assassinations, Murders
Land demarcation
Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
Strengthening of participation
Violent targeting of activists
Application of existing regulations
Development of alternatives:Indigenous communities demand the demarcation of their land in order to continue their traditional way of life. Other communities demand the implementation of policies that allow the extraction of the fruits of the forest in a sustainable way.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The Borari Indians have had their traditional territory recognized, but the activities of logging and farmers persist causing environmental and social impacts in the region.
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

IDEFLOR. Pre-annoucement of forest concessions Arapiuns Mamuru. Santarém, 19 mar. 2010. Available at:
[click to view]

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

MAP OF CONFLICTS INVOLVING ENVIRONMENTAL INJUSTICE AND HEALTH IN BRAZIL. In Glebe Nova Olinda and surroundings, Borari People, peasants and bordering fight against landgrabbers, loggers and soybean farmers, who seek increasingly expelled them from their l
[click to view]

SAUER, Sergio e MACHADO, Diego D. Report of mission to Santarem: human rights violations in indigenous and quilombola communities in the Arapiuns River. Brasília: Brazil Dhesca Platform, 2010. 36 p.

INDIGENOUS PEOPLE BORARI-ARAPIUN. Open letter to Margaret Sekaggya-UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human rights defenders. Blog Shap Tongue (Lingua Ferina), Santarem, 19 nov. 2010.
[click to view]

PENA, Fabio. Federal Police investigating death of Cacique Crisomar Maro River. Combate ao Racismo Ambiental, 28 Mar. 2013.
[click to view]

MILANEZ, Felipe. Fear and tension in the West. Rolling Stone, Sao Paulo, ed. 49, 2010. ,
[click to view]

GREENPEACE Conflict in Pará awaits Government action. Sao Paulo, 21 mar. 2007. ,
[click to view]

NOVAES, Thiago Valente. Pre-annoucement of forest concessions Mamuru-minutes of public hearing Arapiuns-Santarém-PA. IDEFLOR, Santarém, March 19, 2010. ,
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

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Meta information
Contributor:Diogo Rocha
Last update08/04/2014
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