Rights of Indigenous Groups over Natural Resources in Tropical Forests

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May 1999
This study analyzes present-day and historical demographic, socioeconomic, and cultural changes in traditional native groups and in their environment, which have led to a growing loss of ethnic and ecological diversity in the main tropical rainforests of Latin America. The study summarizes actions by external agents that have led to rapid deforestation in recent years and to restrictions on access to forest resources which often lead to confrontation with the affected indigenous communities. In addition, the idea that non-sustainable uses of tropical forests should be determined on a case-to-case basis before initiating development activities is presented.