Once granted formal rights to their ancestral lands in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest, Indigenous people have stemmed forest loss and improved tree cover, a new study finds. On average, forest cover increased 0.77% each year after tenure was formalized, says study leader Rayna Benzeev. Less than 12% of the original Atlantic Forest, which runs along more than 1,800 miles of the Brazilian coast, is intact. Looking at satellite imagery of 129 Indigenous territories in the Atlantic Forest from 1985 to 2019, the study found less deforestation and more reforestation in the 77 areas where Indigenous communities had land tenure, compared with the 52 areas where Indigenous communities were still working toward land tenure.

Read Full Story