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Brazil’s Second ICCA Meeting Brings Together a Wide Diversity of Voices, in the Heart of the Pantanal of Mato Grosso do Sul State

First published on 08/23/2019, and last updated on 08/30/2019

By Mupan, Mulheres em Ação no Pantanal, ICCA Consortium Member.

The historic town of Corumbá in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul welcomed the 2nd ICCA Brazil Meeting, for three days, August 18-21, 2019. The 54 participants included representatives of indigenous peoples and traditional communities, researchers and non-governmental organizations from the Pantanal and  other regions of Brazil, as well as from Paraguay and Bolivia. The event took place on the banks of the Paraguay River and helped strengthen the voices of ICCA Brazil’s platform, as they addressed topics relevant to the current discussions on the present law and on territory issues.

Three guiding principles —documenting, defending and sustaining territories of life – stimulated the dialogues and  and contributed to the empowerment and design of strategies aligned with the principles of ICCA.

The meeting was organized by Mupan, the institutional focal point of the ICCA Consortium in Brazil. Other participants from the Consortium included the Terena Institute of Intercultural Education; and ICCA Bolivia, represented by Ronald Zeballos and Carmen Miranda, the Regional Coordinator for the Amazonian countries.

Special guests shared both technical and practical information on environmental and territorial human rights, matters of identity and belonging, governance and spaces of incidence. The program provided opportunities for exchanging  experiences and information,  through a dialogue of knowledge, enriched by the diversity of perspectives and backgrounds.

Familiarization and therefore self-recognition as ICCA Brazil were discussed by the participants as part of a process that includes local appropriation, respect for the customs and traditions of their territories, as well as the internal arrangements of their organizations. The various political, social and economic moments and the distinct “times” for decision- making were also considered.

Throughout the three days of activities, rich moments emerged, as local communities from different regions showed a lively interest in exchanging ideas and experiences. This led to the creation of two committees to strengthen the ICCA concept and the actions of the Brazilian ICCA Platform in the territories: one Indigenous Committee will work with the Terena Institute of Intercultural Education as a representative of the committee, and ten personal members of the Terena and Kadiwéu ethnic groups for Indigenous representation of Mato Grosso do Sul; and the Mato Grosso do Sul Quilombola Committee for ICCA.

The representatives marked the 2nd ICCA Brazil Meeting with a more active participation and protagonism. The meeting ended on an optimistic note, with the establishment of new internal mechanisms, such as committees that will strengthen local dynamics.

In the current scenario where we witness the dissolution of rights, and increased rights violations, one understands that ICCAs have an even more significant role to play in the country. The full report will soon be available.

Photo credits : Mupan.

Watch this video to know more about ICCAs in Pantanal.