Fundação Renova

The Renova Foundation develops safety actions together with indigenous peoples in MG and ES

Published in: 11/22/2016

Indigenous People

Work is part of the Indigenous Peoples Quality of Life Protection and Recovery Program for those impacted by the Fundão dam collapse

The Renova Foundation, with the purpose of guaranteeing the protection and recovery of the quality of life of the Tupiniquim and Guarani peoples, in the region of the mouth of the Doce river, in the municipality of Aracruz (ES), impacted by the collapse of the Fundão dam, assumed the emergency service plan signed with Samarco Mineração. The plan is based on three pillars of security: water, food and financial and will be accompanied by the National Indian Foundation (Funai).


The analyses of the periodical collection of the water of the Doce River, the village wells, and the tributary rivers within indigenous territories (TI) generate information, which is distributed and arranged in common places, with appropriate language agreed with indigenous peoples. The results are also presented to the communities in meetings accompanied by public agencies, which give legitimacy to the security process related to the use or non-use of water for the various activities. The sample collections are accompanied by indigenous health workers, representatives of indigenous organizations and village leaders.

The monitored locations are:

  • TI Comboios – Comboios river, Caboclo Bernardo canal, Riacho river and Riacho canal.
  • TI Tupiniquim Guarani – Piraque-açu and Mirim river and other points more to the north of the territory, Guaxindiba and Sauê / Sahy rivers.


The main objective of the action plan related to the analysis of aquatic fauna is to work with fishermen pointed out by the communities, who together with the ichthyologist will make an inventory of the species most used by the Indians, either to meet the criteria of subsistence, sale, cosmology and/or linked to the use in traditional medicine.

In this process it is crucial that the ichthyologist together with the fishermen and fishing associations define some species to be collected for analysis and accompanying the condition of the fish and, in the medium term, together with the analysis of the responsible environmental agencies, will allow the creation of scenarios and programs that meet the demand of fish in the communities, especially those related to subsistence criteria.

In the case of fishing as an economic activity, in the short term, money transfer measures will help out the families. However, this plan of action associated with more in-depth studies will result in the diagnosis of the fish condition which will be used to construct a medium- and long-term scenario of financial losses so that permanent programs can be built to meet this impact.

In case of loss of income related to the insecurity of the town’s population to consume fish of the Piraque-açu river, even if the analyses indicate the safe consumption, a communication strategy should take place with the leaderships, the Association of Fishermen and Collectors and the environmental agencies, aimed at buyers and consumers.


In all the indigenous lands involved, through studies, it has been confirmed that the vegetation fragmentation, the absence of Riparian Forest, the reduced size of remaining forest and the absence of connectivity between them are the reasons indicated for the scarcity of fauna in the territories. In general, hunting today is not an everyday activity as it was in the past, precisely because of its scarcity. However, it is still very important for maintaining the group identity and cosmology, as well as the systemic maintenance of the biome.

The Tupiniquim Guarani Peoples of the Indigenous Lands Comboios and the Indigenous Land Tupiniquim Guarani, in rare events capture animals such as armadillo or paca, with the help of traditional traps and rifle, serving small scale to the community as a protein source complementation alongside domestic creations.

Without loss of the above, due to the small but important cultural importance of hunting in the life of the communities, either as a cultural link or protein complementation, as well as the importance of the fauna to maintain the biome now potentially degraded, and the impossibility of fishing, which may increase the interest in hunting, a specific measure is required.

This measure should be discussed with Funai and with the indigenous peoples, with the objective of conducting a rapid survey within the territories to verify the movement of the species in this degraded scenario, generating information that will answer the doubts of the communities and that will bring indications of immediate actions, where appropriate, and/or structured actions for the permanent program.

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