Kayapo Leaders



Territorial Monitoring and control

The objective of this program is to maintain the ecological and cultural integrity of Kayapo lands by preventing invasion and predatory exploitation by illegal goldminers, loggers, fishermen and ranchers. Program components are:

    • Remote sensing/satellite image analysis
    • Border guard posts located at key access points and manned by Kayapo guards
    • Kayapo border patrol expeditions 
    • Overflight surveillance to detect incursions and ground-truth remote sensing data 
    • Training workshops for Kayapo youth


sustainable enterprise 

The Kayapo NGOs work to develop sustainable economic enterprises for their communities that generate equitably distributed income, fit with Kayapo culture and conserve the primary forest ecosystem upon which Kayapo society depends. Sustainable enterprises include:



institution building

The three Kayapo NGOs are Kayapo outposts in a foreign world. They are poles of function in outside society such that the Kayapo are able to obtain, administer and effectively implement support for their cause as well as organize to defend their rights. Their NGOs set a place at the table for the Kayapo in national society -without which they would have been trampled by frontier society long ago.




A new film from Simone Giovine and Coletivo Beture


Nowhere are the stakes higher than in the Amazon basin—and not just because it contains 40% of Earth’s rainforests and harbours 10-15% of the world’s terrestrial species. South America’s natural wonder may be perilously close to the tipping-point beyond which its gradual transformation into something closer to steppe cannot be stopped or reversed, even if people lay down their axes. Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, is hastening the process—in the name, he claims, of development. The ecological collapse his policies may precipitate would be felt most acutely within his country’s borders, which encircle 80% of the basin—but would go far beyond them, too. It must be averted.  — The Economist, August 1, 2019″

Concern for the Amazon

August 22, 2019 — Reduced protection of the Amazon by Brazil’s Bolsonaro government has led to sharply higher deforestation rates in 2019 and a dramatic increase in forest fires, as reported by many news organizations including the BBC and the National Geographic. A recent cover story in The Economist proclaimed “The Amazon is approaching an irreversible tipping point”.  We quote from the accompanying “leader” (editorial), titled “Deathwatch in the Amazon”, at the end of this news brief.

There is a ray of light in this bleak scenario. The Kayapo Indigenous people, in partnership with ICFC and others, continue to protect 10 million hectares (and area twice the size of Nova Scotia) from illegal logging,  gold mining, and clearing for agriculture. For decades, the Kayapo have been effective at protecting what may be the largest single tract of tropical forest anywhere in the world. Key to their success in this lawless region of high deforestation has been territorial surveillance and guard posts located on rivers and other entry points to Kayapo lands. We have stepped up our efforts this year and need your help to build additional guard posts to meet the increased challenges resulting from the lack of government enforcement. Thank you for whatever help you can provide!