Greens Distort Indigenous Rights to Block Brazil's Sustainable Development

Jun 17, 2012, 23:44 ET from World Growth

SYDNEY, June 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Pro-development group says that Green anti-business campaigns will chill investment and halt sustainable development —precisely when Brazil needs an economic boost.

Rio de Janeiro – World Growth, a pro-development NGO, today called on Western environmental campaigners to halt appropriating indigenous claims in order to block Brazilian forestry, agriculture and mining projects.

World Growth chairman Alan Oxley made the call before world leaders at the UN Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.  Mr Oxley was launching a report outlining how environmental campaigners are using the concept of 'free prior and informed consent' (FPIC) to destabilise property rights, undermine the rule of law and stymie economic growth in Brazil.

Mr Oxley said that the Greens' actions were effectively blocking sustainable development.

"Greenpeace in particular has attempted to blame Brazil's cattle sector for deforestation and disputes over indigenous land in Maraiwatsede. This report shows that the situation on the ground is much more complicated and there are myriad forces at work," said Mr Oxley. "It shows that Greens have distorted these indigenous claims for their own agenda and made unproven allegations against some of Brazil's leading employers."

"Free, prior and informed consent was originally developed by a coalition of indigenous groups to have customary laws and property rights respected," said Mr Oxley. "It was developed to ensure that large-scale development projects consulted indigenous peoples appropriately."

"Groups such as Greenpeace and WWF have distorted that concept. They want it to apply to all communities, regardless of whether they are indigenous or not. They want FPIC to act as a veto right for anyone who objects to a development project, whether it's for food security, water security or resource use."

"The Greenpeace and WWF approach will undermine sustainable development. Rather than increasing secure tenure, it will undermine property rights and land tenure in developing countries. This report shows that poor property rights lead to greater levels of environmental degradation, poor economic outcomes and greater levels of social conflict."

"The actions of groups like Greenpeace will likely undermine the gains made by indigenous communities in gaining recognition for their customary rights."

"Even worse, their actions will chill private sector investment in productive industries that increase food security and drive exports such as the Brazilian beef industry.

"Recent economic data has suggested a Brazilian slowdown. Many governments are on their knees financially and the global economy is facing headwinds. Brazil needs greater investment from the private sector – not less."

Read the report here:

To contact World Growth email:  

SOURCE World Growth