A study conducted by researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder has found that forests in Brazil benefit more when under the hands of indigenous people, showing that they help to combat deforestation and climate change. They even help to boost forest cover levels.
To come to this conclusion, the researchers studied satellite images from 129 Indigenous territories across a total of 34 years between 1985 to 2019. Their analysis showed that most of the forest coverage that remains is thanks to indigenous groups, with increased reforestation in many of their areas.
Lead author of the study, Rayna Benzeev made the following statement: “Our paper shows that each year after tenure was formalized, there was a 0.77 percent increase in forest cover, compared to untenured lands, on average."
While legal reasons certainly create a barrier, these findings will help the government, organizations and the public alike to gain a better understanding of how they can support reforestation efforts. In particular, the findings will also help to support the new Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in making any political moves to help restore rainforests in the country — something he is particularly passionate about. Already, he has made moves to protect the Amazon rainforest in Brazil. While work will need to be continued to see any progress, these findings are certainly encouraging.