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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the situation of indigenous and environmental defenders in Brazil, including the

5.7.2022 - (2022/2752(RSP))

with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 144 of the Rules of Procedure
killing of Dom Philips and Bruno Pereira

Pedro Marques, Andrea Cozzolino, Isabel Santos, Javi López, Maria‑Manuel Leitão‑Marques,
on behalf of the S&D Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0348/2022

Menetlus : 2022/2752(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on the situation of indigenous and environmental defenders in Brazil, including the

killing of Dom Philips and Bruno Pereira



The European Parliament,

  having regard to the European Parliament Resolution of 19 May 2021 on the effects of climate change on human rights and the role of environmental defenders on this matter

  having regard to the European Parliament Resolution of 22 October 2020 with recommendations to the Commission on an EU legal framework to halt and reverse EU-driven global deforestation

  having regard to the European Parliament resolution of 3 July 2018 on violation of the rights of indigenous peoples in the world, including land grabbing

  having regard to the European Parliament resolution of 16 September 2020 on the EU’s role in protecting and restoring the world’s forests

  having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and other United Nations (UN) human rights treaties and instruments, in particular the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), adopted by the General Assembly on 13 December 2007

  having regard to the reports and statements of the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples

  having regard the reports and advice of the UN Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

  having regard to the declaration of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights regarding the threats against environmental human rights defenders and indigenous people;

  having regard to the Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World 2021 and the European Union’s policy on the matter

  having regard to the EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy for 2020-2024, the EU External Policy on Indigenous Peoples of 2016, the Council conclusions on indigenous peoples of 15 May 2017 and the European Consensus on Development of 2017,

  having regard the report of June 2022 from INESC called “Anti-Indigenous Foundation: A Portrait of FUNAI Under the Bolsonaro Administration”[1]

  1. Whereas the term "ecocide"  is used to describe the combined effects of deforestation, forced displacement and illegal land invasion on indigenous peoples;
  2. Whereas the Amazon is the largest rainforest in the world and plays a vital role in absorbing carbon dioxide, reducing greenhouse gases, and maintaining regional and global weather patterns;
  3. Whereas an estimated 10 % of the planet’s biodiversity is found in the region and with nearly 400 distinct ethno-linguistic groups, it is also one of its most culturally diverse;
  4. Whereas the protection of the Amazon biome is an essential part of the global efforts to reduce greenhouse gases and it is the view of scientists and experts that there is an urgency to stop forest loss;
  5. Whereas the European Union has an interest in contributing to the protection of the Amazon and its indigenous peoples and it should strengthen its direct support to Amazonian indigenous peoples and environmental defenders and develop effective measures targeted at EU-based companies whose activities cause deforestation;
  6. Whereas the governments are ultimately responsible for guaranteeing the security, safety and rights of indigenous peoples, including those of indigenous environmental and human rights defenders;
  7. Whereas the present government of Brazil has opened up the Amazon region to development activities seeking to extract wealth through mineral, oil, gas and timber, energy generation, agribusiness and ranching, facilitated by ambitious and potentially destructive road-building, even to the extent of permitting these developments in protected areas and indigenous territories and ignoring illegal exploitation of these areas and territories;
  8. Whereas since his presidential campaign current President Bolsonaro has promised to destroy the FUNAI - National Foundation of Indigenous People; whereas during his mandate the leadership of FUNAI has been completely militarized, only 2 of FUNAI's 39 Regional Offices are headed by civil servants while in the other offices, the situation is as follows: 19 of them coordinated by military officers; 3 by military police officers; 2 by federal police officers; and the remaining by substitute civil servants or people with no ties to the public administration; Whereas Bolsonaro nominated Marcelo Xavier as head of FUNAI, an agriculturalist, ruralist leader and notorious antagonist of indigenous rights;
  9. Whereas indigenous representative groups, civil society organizations, researchers and members of academia have shown that the increasing vulnerability of indigenous peoples in Brazil results from both omissions and intentional actions of the Brazilian government;
  10. Whereas since the current government took office the numbers of deforestation in the Amazon have risen dramatically, from 7500km2 in 2018 to 13,235 km² in 2021, a rise of 75% since Bolsonaro took office;
  11. Whereas Bill 191/2020, among others, related to mining inside Indigenous lands does not meet the objective of regulating the constitutional provision that includes the possibility of economic activities on indigenous lands in Brazil; Whereas this bill is still blocked, there are many reports of illegal mining and extraction of resources on indigenous and Amazonian lands;
  12. Whereas in August of 2021, a coalition of Brazilian Indigenous rights groups petitioned the International Criminal Court to investigate Bolsonaro for alleged crimes against humanity and genocide;
  13. Whereas the OECD refuses to grant Brazil membership due to their environmental and human rights laws, policies, and practices not being aligned with the organization’s values;
  14. Whereas a climate of violence and unlawfulness has established itself in the region and threats and violence against indigenous peoples and environmental defenders are rising and the attacks, intimidations and even murders of activists opposing these developments and trying to protect the forest have reached an all-time high;
  15. Whereas President Bolsonaro has questioned the Brazilian institutions, including the Supreme Court and the Congress, ahead of the upcoming elections in September 2022; whereas Bolsonaro has tried to cast shadow on the integrity of the elections calling them a “farce”, whereas Brazil is a fully consolidated democracy with full electoral guarantees;
  16. Whereas multiple cases of attack, persecution, and intimidation of Environmental Human Rights Defenders (EHRDs) reveal serious gaps in Brazil’s laws, policies, and practices;
  17. Whereas Brazil is the fourth country in the world per number of killings of environmental activists, according to a survey by the NGO Global Witness;
  18. Whereas the bodies of the British journalist Dom Phillips and the Brazilian Indigenous expert Bruno Pereira have been recovered from the rainforest on 15June 2022, three weeks after they were murdered while journeying through the Amazon;
  19. Whereas since the installation of the present government of Brazil levels of violence against human rights defenders, , women people of colour, LGBTIQ+ people, journalists, indigenous peoples, and traditional communities, particularly those of African descent have skyrocketed; whereas all this has been met with a blatant disregard for human rights, the environment and the rule of law by the current President;
  20. Whereas since its installation, the present government of Brazil has developed policies  to restrict social and political participation, to limit spaces for consultation concerning public policies and decision-making and encouraged excessive use of force by law enforcement, as well as human rights violations during protests; whereas  several organs that regulate and protect indigenous people and the Amazonian forest have been defunded or occupied by leadership that has ignored the current problems and contributed to its dire situation;
  21. Whereas the Covid-19 pandemic has disproportionally affected the indigenous communities worldwide, and the negationist rhetoric and negligent management of the current Brazilian President has exacerbated the problems regarding the pandemic in the country;
  1. Condemns in the strongest possible terms the murders of Mr. Dom Phillips and Mr. Bruno Pereira and expresses its solidarity and support to their families, friends and colleagues; calls for a thorough and results driven investigation regarding this crime;
  2. Deplores the continuous aggressive rhetoric, verbal attacks and intimidatory statements expressed by President Bolsonaro against minorities and is deeply concerned about the way that the Brazilian government is fostering a climate of violence, harassment and intimidations against human rights and environmental rights defenders, the civil society, women, people of colour, LGBTIQ+ people, indigenous people, traditional communities;
  3. Strongly rejects Bolsonaro’s attacks against the electoral process of September 2022, recalls that Brazil is a fully consolidated democracy with full electoral guarantees and calls on President Bolsonaro and the Brazilian government to fully respect the electoral authorities, the separation of powers, and the guarantees of the electoral process, and to refrain from any kind of political interference in the electoral process;
  4. Calls on Brazilian civil society to continue its surveillance and report on the many violations that have been happening in the country; urges the EU and its member states to support civil society, environmental and humanitarian organizations in the country so that they are able to do their work;
  5. Strongly condemns the passivity and complacency of Bolsonaro’s government in the destruction of the Amazon rainforest and highlights their active role in destroying global natural heritage through tremendously dangerous and negligent environmental policies;
  6. Recalls that illegal mining on indigenous territories causes tremendous harm to both the environment and the health of those living there;
  7. Underlines that the Brazilian government has often demonstrated complacency, or even complicity, in allowing social and environmental governance to deteriorate in Brazil and that governance failures in Brazil – ranging from bad laws or regulations, to underfunding of key ministries or policies, to failures of enforcement and accountability, to avoidance of transparency and public engagement, to repression of civic criticism – are causing serious harm to the rule of law, human rights and the environment;
  8. Recalls that the negationist stances of President Bolsonaro as the official position of the Brazilian government of denying scientific evidence regarding the treatments to the Covid-19 pandemic has directly led to one of the largest death tolls in the world and has particularly affected the indigenous communities that in this case, are completely dependent on the authorities for treatment and guidance; condemns the negligent management of the covid-19 pandemic by Bolsonaro’s government;
  9. Highlights the urgent need for Brazil to drastically improve its record on environmental protection, the fight against climate change and deforestation, the protection of its civic space as well as the rights of workers, environmental and human rights defenders (EHRDs), indigenous peoples and other traditional communities;
  10. Calls on the Brazilian authorities to implement clear and ambitious policies that strengthen the existing environmental protections; urges President Bolsonaro to keep it’s promise of ending illegal deforestation and abstain to present laws that try to facilitate the attacks on protected indigenous territories and Amazon lands;
  11. Calls on the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to carefully evaluate Brazil’s membership and grant it only once  it has fully aligned its environmental and human rights laws, policies, and practices with the standards and values of the organisation;
  12. Stresses the importance of corporate due diligence and sustainable and accountable corporate accountability as significant and indispensable means by which to prevent and protect against severe human rights and environmental violations; calls on the Member States to implement effective regulatory measures and to hold businesses accountable when it comes to ensuring that they fulfil their due diligence obligations regarding the impact of climate change on human rights, in line with UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights;
  13. Urges the European Union to be active globally as part of climate diplomacy and within the United Nations framework working towards a multilateral agreement on international criminal justice at the United Nations level and the recognition of ecocide in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court;
  14. Calls for the EU and its Member States to work in all appropriate international arenas to raise awareness of the situation of the human and environmental rights of indigenous peoples and the key role of environmental human rights defenders in the conservation of biodiversity and sustainable development;


Viimane päevakajastamine: 5. juuli 2022
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