With support from Size of Wales, Christian Aid and CPI have worked with Guarani communities to help them secure their land through techniques such as satellite mapping and advocacy training.
CPI recently produced a study with the Guarani communities showing the results of deforestation and loss of land. The study has received a lot of media attention.
The next step will be for CPI and the Guarani communities to present it to the government, promoting the case for indigenous land rights.
Catarina Santos, a Guarani elder from Piaçaguera community in the Mata Atlântica, says: ‘It was very difficult to live here before as we had no rights over the land.
'Mining has been very active in the region for a long time. It started firstly with logging and coal, which removed a lot of the vegetation.
'The companies then moved on to mining sand, which has made it very difficult for us to plant because the land is now infertile.
'This is threatening our survival because we aren’t able to grow much food.
‘We approached different government bodies to help us get rid of the mining companies, but it is only since CPI came that we have fully understood all of the threats to our way of life. We now feel fully supported.’
Claire Raisin, director of Size of Wales, said: ‘Spending time with communities who experience the effects of deforestation first hand was a truly humbling experience. However, it was also inspiring!
‘The Guarani are patient and realistic about the challenges that they face, but it’s wonderful to know that, thanks to the work of CPI - supported by Christian Aid and Size of Wales - the land is now in safe hands and will be sustainably managed today and for future generations.’