ELAW Fellow Juliana de Paula Batista arrived last week from Brasilia. She is an attorney at a leading NGO in Brazil, Instituto Socioambiental, which works to defend indigenous peoples and their organizations across Brazil.
Juliana spent Labor Day weekend touring the Olympic National Park and visiting the Makah and Lower Elwha Klallam Reservations. She also toured the Elwha Dam removal site.
“Learning about some of the challenges facing the Makah and Klallam peoples showed me that there are common problems in the United States and Brazil. With both of our national governments there is still a lot of difficulty in protecting ethnic minorities from majoritarian politics,” says Juliana.
Juliana provides legal advice to indigenous communities and their organizations, advocates for these communities, and represents indigenous peoples and their organizations in court.
Juliana also works with Afro-descendant traditional communities – the quilombola – who live in the Ribeira Valley in the southern part of the State of São Paulo. Food security in this community is threatened by bureaucratic government agricultural licensing that has resulted in the loss of traditional seeds and biodiversity. Juliana is helping this community navigate the bureaucracy and make their voices heard.
Juliana will work closely this month with ELAW staff to build her capacity to protect indigenous communities in Brazil from destructive mining operations. She will also research model laws and practices from around the world that protect indigenous lands from natural resource extraction, and connect with ELAW partners around the world who are working to protect indigenous lands for future generations.
Many thanks to Tomoko Sekiguchi for serving as Juliana’s host family!
Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide