Nature

Restoring tranquility to the world: Tribe regains control of forest land

Indigenous people have taken back their 400,000 acres

With the destruction of rainforests and troubling mass of plastic in our oceans, the world as we once knew it is undergoing a huge shift.

Yet now the brakes have been slammed to prevent further damage.

In a landmark court ruling, a tribe have regained control of their land and won the rights to take care of their ancestral territory that includes two national reserves.

[Credit: Yale Environment 360]

Consequently, this means the Naso people of northwest Panama will manage some of Central America’s largest forests while nurturing it with environmentally-friendly crops.

Speaking about the ruling, King of the Naso community, Reynaldo Santana, said it was an act of justice that will restore tranquillity and allow the land to flourish again.

Santana said: “We will be able to continue what we know best and what our culture and way of life represents; taking care of our mother earth, conserving a majestic forest, and protecting the country and the planet from the effects of climate change.”

[Credit: Yale Environment 360]

With the indigenous people now in control, they will be able to protect the conservation areas from being targeted by cattle ranchers and palm oil planters.

The palm oil industry is proving to have a devastating impact as demand in Western culture soars – where it is used in food or beauty products – as cultivating it destroys rainforests, displaces indigenous tribes, spews carbon into the atmosphere, and threatens orangutans toward extinction.

The ruling will also put an end to drug traffickers and militias who target the grounds and create further suffering to the planet.

In addition to safeguarding the environment, the tribe will also shield local wildlife from further crisis such as endangered jaguars, peccarys [pig-like mammal], and harpy eagles.

[Credit: Yale Environment 360]

To put into the scale the severity of previous threat, the Naso people were forced to battle a large cattle ranching company back in 2009 who seized a chunk of their ancestral land and burned houses, a school, a church, and a cultural centre.

By 2014, they were still fighting, this time trying to prevent the government building a dam in their territory that blocked fish migrations and destroyed a large part of the fish population.

Now, with the indigenous people in control of their 400,000 acres of land, the earth has a chance to heal with their focus on regenerating trees, plants and animals.

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