At ACT, we are convinced that the more people there are who can effectively care for, manage and protect their traditional lands, the more forests will be protected. That is why we actively support the work of indigenous communities, and coordinate our activities with other, likeminded organizations and institutions.

About Brazil

ACT and the Waura of Ulupuene

ACT’s relationship with the Waura people dates from 2003, when ACT and 14 tribes of the Xingu Indigenous Park (PIX) began collaborative ethnographic and land use mapping of the territory. In 2010, the chieftain Atamai asked ACT to help a small group of Waura move to a 7,000-hectare area in the far southwest sector of the territory. In 2011, ACT supported the establishment of a new settlement in this location on a tributary of the Batovi River, named Ulupuene. Subsequently, ACT sponsored the creation of a representative organization for these Waura, the Ulupuene Indigenous Association. The village, home to approximately 100 Waura, is fully established with 12 malocas (longhouses) and cassava gardens, and provides a border presence in the southwest corner of the territory.

Our Work in Brazil

Since 2012, ACT has supported the village’s efforts to ensure a sustainable food supply, through sustainable agriculture installations, and to protect their local environment through expeditions to collect trash from outside the reserve that washes up in their creek beds. Village discussions have been held toward the formulation of a consensus plan to protect the area’s large mammals. Efforts are also underway to establish means of sustainable income generation for the villagers, especially focused on the efforts of women. Local appropriate education is an additional area of emphasis: ACT has sponsored the construction of a school and training center in the village, as well as the teaching certification of several Waura.

We believe that Ulupuene has the potential to become a model of sustainability and self-sufficiency throughout the Xingu, and beyond.

In Brazil, our activities are planned along the following high-level strategies throughout our work areas.

Click here to learn more about our history and work in the Brazilian Amazon:

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Land: Safeguard the forests and all that is in them

Land Initiatives

Our goal is to ensure the protection, conservation and recovery of indigenous territory. In this strategy, we work for the protection and sustainable management of areas of ecosystemic and cultural importance as a safeguard against existing pressures to the indigenous territorial borders.

We also guide and assist local communities in their land planning and management processes at a local scale as well as in their coordination with regional and national planning processes. We assume that if there is reflection on and planning for the uses of land that considers both the protection of biodiversity and human well-being, its management will benefit the local communities and will be sustainable over the long term.

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Livelihoods: Sustain the Lives of Local People

Livelihoods Initiatives

We support sustainable productive initiatives by developing small-scale models designed with and for indigenous families, integrating ancestral agriculture with new agroecological alternatives, contributing to food sovereignty and, in some cases, contributing to the generation of complementary income for the family economy.

Economic security is not the only critical factor for the families with whom we work. So is access to basic services (clean water, nutrition, health and electricity), which is why we provide support through the introduction of infrastructure and equipment appropriate to the specific culture.

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Governance: Strengthen Cultures and Increase Communities’ Self-Determination

Governance Initiatives

We work with our indigenous partners to build the capacities they have identified as keys to strengthening their governance and collective processes.

With respect to the relevant training processes for the communities, we understand that it is they who should determine how they want to organize and strengthen the governance structures that allow them to make decisions and interact with other stakeholders. In these cases, we support initiatives prioritized by communities that make it possible to realize their desired governance structures.

Examples include educational processes at different levels: schools, technical and professional programs, and other management tools considered relevant from the community and indigenous viewpoint.