Even if they do (and they’re not), isn’t it their land?
Leao Serva comments in the New York Times that a bill introduced in the Brazilian Senate would “condemn vast areas of rainforest to extermination” and equated the bill to the “profound moral stain” of slavery.
But as Philip Stott has written,
Calls for the tropical rain forest to be preserved are founded on the implied presumption that the people living in tropical regions are merely there to protect a western construct. This denigrates their rights and dehumanises them. Just as the colonial administrators sought to reduce the numbers of livestock kept by Africans, claiming that the tribes-people did not know how to manage their land, environmentalists demand that indigenous people be discouraged from converting land to agricultural purposes or to plantation forest. This is, at base, little more then a new form of colonialism.