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Project November 28, 2023

Institutions Divide Ka'apor Indigenous People To Implement Carbon Credit Project



In the Alto Turiaçu Indigenous Land (TI), in Maranhão, two North American companies and a Brazilian NGO are trying to convince the Ka'apor people to use their forests to sell carbon credits. The approach of the entities has divided the Ka'apor people and generated internal conflicts.

The companies are Wildlife Works and Forest Trends. The NGO is the Amazon Conservation Team, Ecam, the local arm, until 2012, of the North American NGO Amazon Conservation Team, ACT. Ecam is chaired by Dutchman Vasco van Roosmalen. The project is based on capturing data from the TI using cell phone apps and satellite images. As well as being president of the NGO, Roosmalen is also one of the owners of the app company.

In this reporting for The Intercept Brasil, documentary filmmaker Ingrid Barros and journalist Felipe Sabrina investigate the relationship between the companies, the NGO, their impact on the Ka'apor territory, and the impacts that the negotiations are having on the different villages in the territory. Barros and Sabrina also investigate the past and current activities of the companies and the NGO in other territories of traditional peoples and communities in Brazil, and their strategies for implementing REDD projects.