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Cattle ranchers, the Monte Pascoal National Park and carbon offsets in Pataxo indigenous territory, Brazil

Pataxo warriors continue after centuries to fight against colonial and neo-colonial forms of appropriation of their lands.


The fight of the indigenous Pataxo-Ha-Ha-Hae population in the south east of the State of Bahia for their lands has been lasting for long.

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Cattle ranchers, the Monte Pascoal National Park and carbon offsets in Pataxo indigenous territory, Brazil
State or province:Bahia (southeastern)
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local 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
Establishment of reserves/national parks
Specific commodities:Land
Carbon offsets
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The carbon offset area between the Monte Pascoal and Pau Brasi National Parks covers 1.000 ha.

Project area:22,500
Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:1951
Company names or state enterprises:Kraft Foods Global, Inc.
Natura Cosméticos
Relevant government actors:IBAMA, Service for the Protection of Indians: "Serviço de Proteção ao Índio" (SPI) ancestor of the current FUNAI (Fundação Nacional do Índio)
International and Finance InstitutionsUnited Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP)
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Conselho Indigenista Missionário (CIMI) - Brazil, Cultural Survival, Association of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB)
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
Social movements
Pataxo indigenous communities
Forms of mobilization:Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Public campaigns
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Potential: Global warming, Noise pollution, Soil erosion
Health ImpactsPotential: Accidents, Malnutrition, Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide, Deaths
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Increase in violence and crime, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment
Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:Deaths, Assassinations, Murders
Proposal and development of alternatives:The protesters ask to retrieve their own lands.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:The indigenous population do not retrieve their own lands, and do not have any other form of compensation.
Sources & Materials
Juridical relevant texts related to the conflict (laws, legislations, EIAs, etc)

ILO Convention 69

Indian Statute - 1973 "expressly forbids leasing contracts with non-Indians for the exploitation of the resources of Indian lands" [1]

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

Protected areas Against Who? World Rainforest Movement. Oilwatch 2004
[click to view]

REDD in Brazil - Two case studies on early forest carbon offset projects, J. Kill, HBS Foundation, 2014
[click to view]

Report: The Monte Pascoal‐Pau Brasil ecological corridor carbon, community and biodiversity initiative: another carbon offset failure
[click to view]

Special Bulletin: The struggle of the Pataxo, WRM
[click to view]

[1] The Pataxo of Bahia: Persecution and Discrimination Continue, Cultural Survival
[click to view]

[2] Brazil: Monte Pascoal National Park belongs to the Pataxo, WRM, November 1999
[click to view]

Conselho Indigenista Missionario
[click to view]

Brazil: The Pataxo’s struggle for their territory continues, Pascoal, 19/08/2007, World Rainforest Movement
[click to view]

The Pataxó people of Brazil: the recreation of a culture, A. Ulrich
[click to view]

Brazilian Indians secure nationwide land victory, Latin America Bureau, 22/01/2015
[click to view]

Special Bulletin: The struggle of the Pataxó, WRM
[click to view]

Another carbon offset failure: The Monte Pascoal-Pau Brasil ecological corridor, REDD monitor, 17/04/2014
[click to view]

A Brief History of the Indians of Southern Bahia, Brazil, Cultural Survival
[click to view]

REDD, Neo-Colonialism in the Land of the Pataxo Warriors, Americas Program, 26/11/2014
[click to view]

Worldwide protests demand stop to Brazil’s assault on indigenous rights, Survival, 2/10/2013
[click to view]

Brazil: Pataxo recover traditional lands, WRM Bulletin 26, August 1999
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Lucie Greyl & Camila Rolando Mazzuca
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:480
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