CDH has the mission of defending, disseminating and ensuring the realization of human rights in the municipality of Tutóia and the region, working together with the other partner organizations which defend and promote human rights in the area. For instance, the Forum in Defense of Life of the Maranhão Baixo Parnaíba (FDVBPM), established in 2005 and composed of more than 30 civil society organizations from 21 cities of the region. Such liaison allows a stronger and incisive action from the group.
Some of the activities already developed are: training courses on human rights for multiplier agents, monitoring of cases of human rights violations, as well as submission of complaints to the competent authorities and liaison with other organizations for the exercise of citizenship with the involvement of workers from urban and rural areas in a process of raising awareness about the importance of claiming the establishment and implementation of public policies. Also sharing of experience regarding generation of employment and income with rural workers and training for community leaders about the importance of exercising social control.
The group intends to undertake a mapping that reflects the exact number of communities and families being affected by the implementation of the eucalyptus monoculture project by the company Suzano Papel & Celulose. It is estimated that about 2,000 families are under threat. The idea is to conduct an inventory of these communities’ reality (improvements, vegetation, the total area of communities, traditions etc.), in partnership with FDVBPM and the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies of the Course of Social Sciences at the Federal University of Maranhão.
The company Gerdau, who was the first interested in the eucalyptus monoculture project in the region, prepared the EIA/RIMA(1) used by the company Suzano to obtain the environmental licensing. The document did not identify traditional communities affected by the project. Suzano filed lawsuits against communities that have peacefully resisted for the preservation of their territory, calling them invaders. Through the legitimate process of resistance and legal intervention, the areas defended by the communities who resisted are still preserved.
The plan is to publish the report and make it a tool for several lawsuits pending before local judges and federal courts to demonstrate the serious violations that these communities have been suffering. The material will also be used in public hearings to demand effective action from the Federal and State Prosecutor’s Office, IBAMA, INCRA, State Secretariat for the Environment and the Lands Institute of the State, in order to protect the rights of traditional communities.
(1) N.T.: ‘EIA’ stands for Environmental Impact Study and ‘RIMA’, Environmental Impact Report
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Social and environmental rights within mega-projects