Indigenous Group in Brazil Wins Decades-Long Battle Against Illegal Loggers in the Amazon

A victory in a decades-long court battle provided relief for a special part of the Amazon rainforest and for the Ashaninka indigenous people who live there, as their 1990s lawsuit against illegal logging interests finally ended with a public statement of apology and a $3 million award for compensation.

Forestry companies and their legal teams acknowledged the “enormous importance of the Ashaninka people as guardians of the forest, zealous in the preservation of the environment,” in their official apology which claimed regret “for all the ills caused.”

Francisco Piyãko, part of Ashaninka leadership said, “These resources come to enhance existing actions, to generate sustainability for our people, our land, so that it helps to strengthen us to continue the broader project of environmental protection and maintenance of our ways of life.”

Yale’s School of Forestry & Environmental Studies suggested that the Attorney General, Augusto Aras, believes this case could be a turning point in environmental and indigenous peoples lawsuits.

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“What we did here was to comply with the Constitution, understanding that the indigenous people have sacred rights guaranteed by the Magna Carta,” Aras said in a statement. “You have the right to have a decent life, materially speaking, to choose your own destiny, to take part in political decisions, with respect to isolated communities.”

Beginning in 1980, forestry firms started harvesting mature cedar and mahogany trees for the European furniture trade in the Kampa do Rio Amônia Indigenous Reserve. The money awarded in the settlement will be paid over 5 years, and will be put mainly towards reforestation projects.

“The case will define hundreds of thousands of cases on massive environmental crimes in Brazil,” Antonio Rodrigo, the attorney for Ashaninka, said according to Latin Post.

(File photo by Nishaan ahmed)

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Brazilians Get Juicy Tax Breaks When They Adopt Animals, Plant Trees, or Hail Historic Roots

A slew of Brazilian cities are passing laws that offer tax deductions or exemptions for citizens who want to pitch in to restore the health and beauty of their communities.

Whether by increasing tourism, restoring historic city centers, or boosting beautification by planting trees and maintaining their lawns, there are several ways residents of Goiânia, Belo Horizonte, Quinta do Sol, or Saraba can reduce their Brazilian property tax (IPTU), by anywhere between 30–100%.

Shopkeepers in Goiânia can receive a 2-year exemption from the IPTU if they help restore the original Art Deco-style of the city’s historic center by remaking their facades and storefronts to conform to the original 1950’s Parisian-inspired character.

For anyone who’s traveled to South or Central America, the site of a stray dog is nothing unusual. In the city of Quinta de Sol, the Rescue Program for Abandoned Dogs is a measure to encourage citizens to adopt stray dogs in exchange for a tax break.

Dog lovers can get 50% off their tax bill for big dogs, 40% for medium-sized dogs, and 30% for miniatures.

LOOK: Stray Cat With No Ears Finally Adopted After Shelter Worker Crochets Her a Pair of Purple Ones

Known for its jabuticaba trees, Sabara is offering anyone looking to save some money on their IPTU a 5% deduction for every jabuticaba tree they plant in their front or back gardens.

Photo of jabuticaba fruit trees by Vania Wolf, CC license

In the cities of Belo Horizonte and Minas Gerais, a homeowner can get an IPTU exemption if they maintain a wild garden on their property. Described in the law as ‘private ecological reserves’ the specifics of the legislation reads that the reserve of anyone seeking an exemption must contain “primitive or semi-primitive natural conditions” that aid in the “preservation of the biological cycle of species of fauna or flora native to Brazil”.

MORE: Hotel Helps Dogs Get Adopted By Allowing Long-Term Guests to Foster Shelter Pups During Their Stay

As a way to ease the burden for those who have served, Fortaleza is offering exemptions for WWII veterans. The city of Acros is following suit for citizens with debilitating or chronic diseases like certain cancers, Alzheimer’s, and MS. Acros has issued 20 tax exemptions since 2017 for people with catalogued chronic diseases.

With a score from the World Bank of 1.68 out of 7 ranking the “burden of government regulation,” with 1 being the most burdensome, any break from the taxman will likely be a welcome relief for the citizens of Brazil.

And with more trees, primitive reserves, happy doggos, and art deco restaurants to show for it, visitors to the South American country will likely be just as happy.

Share The Innovative Ideas With Your Friends On Social Media – File photo by Andrey, CC