Tue. Apr 20th, 2021

“We, the 39 Kalunga communities, have carried out the georeferencing of our land. And now we have an important tool for managing and protecting our territory! It will help us plan our future,” declared Jorge Oliveira, president of the Quilombola Kalunga Association (AQK). Georeferencing, accomplished with the help of international players, represents a huge achievement and step forward for these traditional communities, who occupy the largest quilombo in Brazil, located in the northeast of Goiás state in central Brazil, within the Cerrado savanna biome. The Kalunga Historical and Cultural Heritage Site (Sítio Histórico e Patrimônio Cultural Kalunga) occupies a vast area — 262,000 hectares (647,000 acres) — and lies near Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park, renowned for its biodiversity and as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Quilombolas are the descendants of runaway slaves, and their territories, known as quilombos, were guaranteed under the 1988 Brazilian Constitution. But the government has long failed to protect these communally held lands, putting them at risk of invasion by outside exploiters. Today, the Kalunga territory is one of the best-preserved areas in the Brazilian Cerrado. It has no fewer than 879 natural water springs, many of which feed into the Paranã River, which flows north into the Tocantins River. It is also home to 19 endangered species of plants and animals, which the Kalunga endeavor to protect. The Kalunga have a 300-year-old claim to their territory. Image by Raoni Pires Mendonça. A longtime claim to valuable Cerrado lands The region occupied by the Kalunga…This article was originally published on Mongabay
Sourced from Conservation news