Protection and Sustainable Management of Indigenous Areas of the Amazon

Project description

Title: Protection and Sustainable Management of Indigenous Areas in the Amazon
Commissioned by: Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Brazil
Lead executing agency: National Indian Foundation (Fundação Nacional do Índio (FUNAI))
Overall term: 2018 to 2020


Deforestation in Brazil continues to be a major political challenge: It is particularly important to strike a balance between the various interests. In the Amazon region, the indigenous areas prevent deforestation and greatly contribute towards protecting the tropical forest and the unique biodiversity in Brazil. The country has more than 400 indigenous areas, together covering more than 12 per cent of the Brazilian territory, predominantly in the Amazon. In addition, indigenous areas are fundamental to the protection of indigenous peoples and the long-term preservation of their culture and knowledge. 

The situation of the indigenous peoples of Brazil remains difficult. Despite extensive rights, guaranteed by the constitution, land conflicts between the indigenous population and major landowners repeatedly result in violence. Major infrastructure projects and overlaps between indigenous areas and other forms of use often give rise to conflicts. Against this backdrop, the participatory and collaborative elaboration of the first National Policy on Environmental and Territorial Management of Indigenous Land (PNGATI) from 2008 to 2012 represents an important step on the path towards involving the indigenous peoples in the sustainable administration of their country. The PNGATI governance model is based on two levels, a national one and a regional one, at which government institutions and indigenous organisations implement the policy together. 

The ‘Protection and sustainable management of indigenous areas of the Amazon: Strengthening the governance instruments and bodies of the National Policy on Environmental and Territorial Management of Indigenous Land (PNGATI)’ module supports the implementation of the PNGATI. 

The PNGATI serves as a political framework for all interventions to protect and manage indigenous areas. Now that the decree of the PNGATI has been consolidated and signed, the next challenge is to implement this policy using an integrated approach. 


The aim of the module is to ensure that the governance structures of the National Policy on Environmental and Territorial Management of Indigenous Land (PNGATI) are effective at national and regional level.


At the national level, the PNGATI Steering Committee fulfils the mandate of supporting the implementation of the policy. A key prerequisite for this is the efficient and professional work of the PNGATI Executive Secretariat.
In the pilot regions of Médio Perus and Madeira, the Brazilian partner IEB is reinforcing the regional committees’ governance structures with training and advisory measures.


To strengthen the Steering Committee, the project is supporting the PNGATI Executive Secretariat and its members. It advises and trains the Executive Secretariat with regard to the development of effective permanent workflows as well as the organisation of the meetings of the national Steering Committee as a national governance structure. The project also supports the regional committees, in which members of FUNAI (Fundação Nacional do Índio = National Indian Foundation) work together with indigenous representatives, in establishing an effective structure and developing their methodological and specialist expertise. The focus is on advising the regional FUNAI offices, i.e. the regional coordinating bodies. 

An e-learning platform is used to offer professional training for members of the regional coordinating bodies, local governmental authorities, indigenous organisations and regional committees. Alongside the content of the PNGATI, this concentrates on participatory approaches and culturally appropriate communication skills. The measures take account of gender-related and generation-specific aspects. 

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