Raoni, the Indian chief, is currently in France on his book tour for “Memoirs of an Indian chief ». While Paris, he met Thursday, May 6, 2010 with President Jacques Chirac, who had prefaced the work. During their meeting, President Jacques Chirac agreed to support the Raoni Institute whose goal is to preserve the Kayapo reserve located throughout the Mato Grosso and Pará states in Brazil.
This reserve, along with the National Park of Xingu, the Gorotire and Panara Reserve, cover 195,000 km2, making this the planet’s largest tropical forest reserve. The Raoni Institute project works towards the same goals as the Fondation Chirac: safeguarding cultural diversity, biodiversity, and tropical forests.
Raoni Metuktire, chief of the Kayapo Indians, became famous in the late 1980s because of his struggle to defend the Amazon rainforest that is seriously endangered by uncontrolled deforestation, pollution of gold diggers, agriculture development, and hydroelectric dams.
- Birth of a Project
- The Institute’s goals
| The Raoni Institute|
Located throughout the states of Mato Grosso and Para in Brazil, the Kayapo reserve’s borders were officially defined in 1993 by presidential decree after Chief Raoni’s 1989 world tour accompanied by the singer Sting and the nativist filmmaker Jean-Pierre Dutilleux. This reserve, along with the National Park of Xingu, the Gorotire and Panara Reserve, cover 195,000 km2, making this the planet’s largest tropical forest reserve. It is as big as the state of Florida or a third of France. Despite its official borders, the area is increasingly threatened by logging companies, mining, and the agricultural industry.
After two years of research and consultation with the Indians, the Fundação Nacional do Índio (FUNAI: National Foundation of the Indian), the French Group for Research and Technological Exchange (GRET), and the Association Forêt Vierge, an Institute project has been developed in the Xingu Rio region to ensure its territorial sustainability.
The Xingu Institute’s mission is to offer Indians the means to save their forest and their culture, but also to overcome health and educational difficulties.
These two objectives are tightly entwined.
The Institute uses the latest environemental technologies.
The Institute Xingu’s pilot project is also intended to become a model for other threatened nations and areas across the planet.