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      failed experiment in Prainha ?

Even after the change of government in Brazil in January 2023 and the promise of leftist President Luiz Inácio "Lula" da Silva to devote more attention to environmental protection, the future of the "Resex" areas is unclear. "Resex" areas are ecologically important areas where the traditional population can pursue their economic activities under strict environmental building and administrative regulations. There are many construction sites. For example, the Chico Mendes Institute (CMBio), which is responsible for the administration of these areas, needs it to be rebuilt almost completely. The right-wing president Jair Bolsonaro had dismantled and co-opted it. With serious consequences: For example, during this period the second-most deforested RESEX of the Amazon has reported 185,000 head of illegal cattle, but only two penalties were issued.                            

                                                                          See in Portuguese:

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The President of the National Council for Traditional People, Carlos Alberto Pinto dos Santos alias Carlinhos ,pleads above all for the application of the rules, For example, more security for self-sufficiency and a stable income for the local population must be ensured. More coordination is also needed. 


        RESEX Reorientation?

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Carlinhos was awarded the International Conservation Prize, was a member of the transitional government and worked on new rules for the Resex.

The problems actually started with 

the foundation by the state of the Brazilian RESEX.

According to the German-Brazilian agronomist Uli Ide, who also lives in the same RESEX as Carlinhos -further south in Bahia,- things already went awry during the founding of the 100 or so RESEX throughout Brazil.


Uli Ide


retired, lives in RESEX Canavieiras in Bahia.

He has worked for international NGOs for decades in South America with a focus on Brazil.

He states that:


At the establishment of RESEX many inhabitants generally did not know, or at least did not realise that in addition to the sea, the land would also be included, how much the land issue would divide their community.


What would happen if the youth with better education no longer wanted to be fishermen? This raises the question: is a conservation zone for lobster fishing in Prainha even keeping up with the times?

In Prainha do Canto Verde, the RESEX is divided into two parts;

a territorial and a marine reserve 


Some of the residents in Prainha claim today that they did not know back then when voting for or against a “RESEX”, that the village itself, the dunes and the land in general would be included.

In Prainha do Cante Verde the environmental area of conflict has shifted away from the sea to the land issue.

(Quote Master’s thesis)

Whole master's thesis in German by © Carolin Brugger

“Although the modality sought by the residents’ association and by the cooperative is compensatory power, it depends on the perception of the people concerned how the power is defined. While some residents – especially the members of these organisations – fully accept the laws of the associação on land ownership and have internalised them as the norm, others feel forced to accept rules and facts that they do not support, and still others do not even abide by the residents’ association’s self-knit rulebook.”

(© 2009 - Carolin Brunner) 

The situation today in Prainha is precarious:

As early as 2009, the German ethnologist Carolin Brugger questioned this in her work on Prainha and considered the many NGO funds – coming especially from Switzerland – that flowed into Prainha to be questionable, and described the local power structures in and around Prainha do Canto Verde as not necessarily beneficial.

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