Illegal Logging Threatens Survival of World’s Most Endangered Tribe

The Awa of Brazil is the world’s most endangered tribe, and their survival is threatened by illegal logging taking place in their territory in the Amazon rainforest.  Currently, their population size is estimated to be 420 to 460 tribe members, whose survival is founded on hunting and gathering.  Loggers are clear-cutting and burning the rainforest where they make their home and hunt for their food.  Additionally, the loggers and ranchers hire gunman who have attacked them as they live and travel in their extended family groups of about 30.

The Brazilian constitution “recognizes the right of indigenous peoples to their ancestral lands – so all the operations on Awa lands are illegal.” In 2009, Brazilian judge José Carlos do Vale Madiera called this situation “a real genocide.”  Survival International is working to draw attention to the endangered status of the Awa, and hopes that “pressure will be put onto the Brazilian government to enforce the laws and put a stop to illegal logging.”  Support the Survival International Awa Campaign at http://www.survivalinternational.org/awa.

See In Pictures: ‘World’s most endangered tribe’, BBC News, (April 25, 2012), http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17827072.

One comment

  1. It is unfortunate that the Brazilian government has not been successful, or has not been proactive in stopping this illegal logging. There are so few of this tribe left and it is a shame to allow someone else’s greed cause their demise. It is an example of how rights can be created for people, such as those rights of indigenous people to their ancestral land, but they are meaningless unless they are enforced. The enforcement of these rights and laws seem to be coming down to the wire as there are only a few hundred of this tribe left.

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