The first results of a survey carried out by a working group created by the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) to gather and analyze databases on the Yanomami population indicate that 62% of the Yanomami indigenous communities today live very close to each other, less than 5 kilometers (km ) from areas with forest altered by non-indigenous people. This situation puts the indigenous population, which corresponds to more than 17,000 indigenous people, at immediate risk. Using several databases and aerial images, referring to 366 indigenous communities and their surroundings, the working group (WG) Geo-Yanomami was able to assess the escalation of threats to the health of indigenous people in recent years. The bad use of the soil and the environmental degradation caused by mining are directly related to the increase in the health problems of the indigenous people in recent years. One of the main changes observed in the Yanomami Territory is the burning: 708 km² of areas were affected between 2017 and 2022. Other forms of forest destruction were deforestation and mining. Crossing data Crossing data from the report Yanomami under attack, published by the Hutukara Associação Yanomami in April 2022, with satellite images from December of the same year, the researchers found an increase of more than 100 airstrips, at least 38 of them clandestine, concentrated in the north of the Yanomami Territory, the region with the highest incidence of gold. The study shows that of the more than 25,000 km of rivers that pass through the region, around 2,000 km record the presence of indigenous people living on their banks. Half of them (53%) are contaminated, affecting around 12,000 indigenous people. “We realized that there was a lot of important data available, but it needs to be sorted and analyzed. With the results produced by the study, we hope to help in the planning of actions to face the health crisis in the Yanomami communities, not only in times of emergency, as now, but also in the coming years. This analysis is an initial step that needs to be improved with information from the field and monitoring”, explains Diego Xavier, researcher at Fiocruz’s Climate and Health Observatory and member of the Geo-Yanomami group.
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