On Wednesday (5), President Jair Bolsonaro signed a bill to regulate resource extraction and electricity generation on indigenous lands. The text will now be analyzed by Congress. Mineral and water exploration is provided for in the Federal Constitution, but it has never been regulated.
The regulation of mining and other extraction activities on indigenous lands has been advocated by Bolsonaro since the beginning of his term. The government worked for months on the proposal now sent to Congress, led by the Ministry of Mines and Energy.
According to the Planalto Palace, the project defines “specific conditions for resource exploration and exploitation on indigenous lands, including minerals, oil and gas and hydroelectric power generation”.
The text was not yet released, but according to the administration the proposal includes:
- Minimum criteria for consultation with affected indigenous communities.
- Administrative procedures for authorization by the National Congress of mining projects, including oil and natural gas and hydroelectric power generation.
- Payment to the affected indigenous communities as a result of mining and hydroelectric power generation and indemnity of indigenous people for the use of their lands.
- Use of these private resources for trustee councils composed of indigenous peoples to distribute the money among associations that represent the affected indigenous communities.
- Possibility for indigenous people to economically exploit their lands through activities such as agriculture, the raising of livestock, extraction and tourism.