‘Agri is Fire’ coalition launches dossier about land grabbing, deforestation and fires in the Amazon, Cerrado and Pantanal

The AGRI is FIRE Coalition, of which CESE is a member, is made up of approximately 30 social movements, organizations and pastoral services that have worked for decades in the defence of the Amazon, Cerrado and Pantanal, and their peoples and communities.  It emerged as a coalition in response to the forest fires that have plagued Brazil over the last two years.  The coalition is driven by a need not only to improve the public debate, but, above all, to go beyond satellite images and deforestation numbers and see the lived experience on the forest floor and in the semi-arid lands.


On 14 April the coalition launched the Agri is Fire dossier: land grabbing, deforestation and fires in the Amazon, Cerrado and Pantanal.  This material is available on the portal: https://agroefogo.org.br/ (in Portuguese)

The platform brings together analyses and complaints about the multiple dimensions of environmental devastation and land conflicts that have taken place in the wake of the criminal use of fire by the agribusiness supply chain, evidencing the intrinsic relationship between the environment and agrarian and land reform in Brazil.

The analyses in the dossier address the following themes:

Driving thecattle herdthrough: deforestation to grab land; Agribusiness and the Brazilian State: who profits when the herd is driventhrough?; Presidency and parliament at the service of land grabbers: legislate to grab land; Dangerous connections: international pension funds, fires and land grabbing in MATOPIBA; Slave labour, expropriation and environmental degradation: a visceral connection; Knowledge from afar: the traditional use of fire in the Cerrado and Amazon.

Alongside these articles, the platform also presents six cases of territorial conflict:

The struggle of the Barra da Aroeira quilombola community in defence of their territory; Fire threatens isolated indigenous people on Bananal Island; Gleba Tauá: the struggle for land in the Tocantins Cerrado; Guató Territory in flames: “The trees have nowhere to run!”; The Kadiwéu Territory and the fires; Tragedy announced on the BR-319 highway.


According to Valéria Santos, from the Pastoral Land Commission (Comissão Pastoral da Terra: CPT), what is new about the dossier are all the connections and analyses that establish this concept of “Agro Pop” or “Agro Tech” highlighted by the media: “What the collective proposes through this platform is to open up dialogue with society in a virtual and permanent arena, where traditional peoples affected by all these violations can lodge their complaints. Civil society needs to better understand this context and what it means.  Who profits from driving through this “herd of cattle”?  What has the Brazilian state done to finance and support the advance of agribusiness in the countryside, in indigenous and quilombola territories?”


With the support of HEKS-EPER, CESE contributed to dossier production through the project “In defence of the Territories of the Peoples of the Pantanal, Cerrado and Amazon – Agri is Fire,” aimed at strengthening those from the grassroots in disputed narratives about fires and deforestation, placing at front and centreindigenous peoples and traditional communities, their territorial rights and ways of life.

On the day of the launch, there was a roundtable dialogue about producing the dossier.  The livestreaming event was attended by Valéria Santos, from the CPT, Antônio Apinajé, indigenous leader of the Apinajé People, and Maurício Torres, professor at the Amazon Institute of Family Farms (Instituto Amazônico de Agriculturas Familiares: INEAF). All of them contributed to producing the dossier.  The conversation was mediated by Ana Paula Sabino.  You can watch it here (in Portuguese):