World Rainforest Movement

Disputed Territory. The green economy versus community-based economies


Produced by the World Rainforest Movement
Interviews: Winnie Overbeek
Camera and Edition: Flavio Pazos.

A story of the peoples of the Atlantic Forest in southern Brazil.

In Brazil, the Atlantic Forest, which covered the country’s entire coastline 500 years ago, is seriously endangered.

But in the state of Paraná, a vast expanse of the Atlantic Forest still survives. This is the largest area of the Atlantic Forest in the world. The area is home to a number of different traditional communities; the Caiçaras, the Quilombolas and the Guaranis.

The ways of life of all three communities are closely tied to the Atlantic Forest. Most of them do not have legal title to the land they occupy or the forests they use. How have these communities traditionally coexisted with the Atlantic Forest?

Fifty years ago, ranchers began moving into the area, clearing the forest and taking over the land to raise water buffalo. In the 1990s, arrived projects that form part of the so-called Green Economy.

What do the local communities think about this kind of projects?

In 2003, with the help of the Landless Workers Movement (MST), the community of Rio Pequeno occupied a ranch. What happens when communities organize and regain control of their land?