Mr Delius, as the Yanomami were in the eighties in Distress, have you sent a Team of helpers. Why?

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Ulrich Delius is Director of the society for threatened peoples

©Michaela Böttcher/GfbV

This people lives in a far secluded area of Amazonia. Gold miners afflicted them, carrying disease and created further problems, such as Prostitution. We were called in because the health situation was disastrous, and should build an infirmary. It was the Yanomami at the time, not a short-term help or even charity, but to get the right to their traditional lands protected.

this Is a success?

Yes, but today we see the watches back in Brazil, and the indigenous territories are being systematically curtailed. This has mainly economical reasons. You want to diet to get visible wood from the rain forest and large areas for the cultivation of soy roden, which is also exported to Europe. So if one, of course, directly in the habitat of these people. And then there’s always the gold digger. You are using chemicals to separate the precious metal from Rock, and contaminate the rivers.

As this people lives today?

The Yanomami have significantly fight more contact with the outside world, like many other indigenous groups, but that their rights are not restricted. And that you don’t take your country back.

What exactly do you understand under “unkontaktierte community”?

We prefer to speak of voluntarily isolated living groups. They usually have a traumatic event behind, experienced violence, a massacre, what led you to other people to withdraw. Some communities were almost completely destroyed, and have taken from this decision: This outer world brings us nothing Good, and therefore, we don’t want any more contact with her.

What is the life of these groups?

From the forest, by fishing, of the hunting. So you are exposed to as well as the changes due to climate change. Rivers, for example, less water, and, of course, it has dramatic consequences for these people if suddenly there is less fish. All you do not know, you are the delivered.

How many such communities there are in the world?

Probably 170, of which around a hundred in Brazil, especially in the Brazilian-Peruvian border area. This was mainly due to the relative seclusion of this Region, which you will find elsewhere hardly.

Whereby they are threatened?

the last of The peoples of the Amazon, an Endangered indigenous people in Brazil: Let them in peace!

First of all, by introduced diseases, because these people mostly have no powers of resistance against them. Cancer is not the big issue, but the flu, a simple cold is dangerous. Add to this the political developments. If you look at the attitude of most politicians in Brazil, and also the large farmers against the indigenous population, it is actually always this issue of: We are an emerging economic nation, so we need all the Land. And then you demand that the authority for the protection of the Indigenous (Funai) is actually evidence that there are isolated peoples living at all. So it is that the Funai with drones, recordings of such groups, even though they don’t want to contact you actually. The fundamental Problem is the unbridled greed for raw materials and Land.

It is a matter of Survival?

. Moreover, the communities, their traditional way of life and economic practice. And if you need to adjust, should be this process gently and in a self-determined. Otherwise it may happen that these people survive, but traumatized waiting for the Brazilian government the can you get drunk is a charity pays, then contracts. We know from other indigenous areas.

What have these communities that we have lost?

In any case, a lot of reference to nature, you are watching all the time, and so changes in exercise. If a line is drawn after the other by the forest, and the impact on biological diversity. Add to that the interpersonal relationships. There is no money economy, the self-interest in mind. It’s always about the community.

you say that we have an obligation to care about the fate of these people.

As a human rights activist, I would always say that there is an ethical obligation for you to use – and that they must not be simply rolled floored by what we call civilization. We have an ethical responsibility to us for their Survival, because it is unfair, Yes: inhuman, like we previously encountered. The murders, the massacres, there is until today!

Nevertheless, the question of whether isolated turns living communities, really in peace. The American anthropologist Rob Walker and Kim Hill for controlled contact. You propose to send Teams to the Region with physicians …

… Yes, you want to, for example, to vaccinate. There are, however, groups have been vaccinated, and three out of four Indigenous have not survived. We human rights activists and many Nations that do not live in Isolation, to say: Leave them alone! It is prohibited to say that We know much better than you what is good for you, because we can look ahead and Know. Because we have the Knowledge, really? The experience is also: After the first contact is built a road, then the railway, then a flight box, and then it’s over too soon with the seclusion. So why do we have to impose what we think is better?

From: “National Geographic”, Bulletin of 11/2018. Immediately at the Kiosk, the price is 6 Euro.

How do you imagine this protection of their territories?

This is one of the biggest challenges. There is no reason books, therefore, it does not help to complain to the indigenous groups that they have for centuries othe thousands of years in a certain area of life. The first stage is that the state says: Well, we recognize that this area is your indigenous territory. The local enforce is very difficult, because the boundaries are not marked. And even if there were signs, it would be the seekers, the settlers, or gold doesn’t matter.

You could leave police units …

… Yes, but that does not happen, of course. One can, however, take advantage of the latest technology. There are many ways on how you can make use of modern cartography or even drones, to capture dangerous developments at an early stage. It just needs the political will.

Interview: Siebo Heinken

What responsibility do we have to live for the people the far away from civilization? Read the whole Interview in the current issue of “National Geopgraphic”, now in stores and online for 6 euros.

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