Impact of soy biofuels on local communities in Brazil

In an event organised by T&E and Rainforest Foundation Norway, community and indigenous leaders from Brazil came to speak about the destruction caused by Europe's demand for soy.

Listen to the audio recording

Thursday, 12th May 2022, 14:00-15:30 (CET)
European Parliament (Room Spinelli 5E1) or online

Soy farming is a major threat to communities in Brazil and the EU’s ‘green fuels law’ is one driver of its expansion.  In the context of the review of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) and the upcoming review of the delegated act on ‘high indirect land-use change (ILUC) risk biofuels’, this event will provide the opportunity to hear from local communities in Brazil about the true impacts of soy cultivation and its continued expansion.

Community  leaders

Jabson Nagelo da Silva is a Macuxi indigenous person from the community Serra da Maça, of the indigenous territory Serra da Moça, in the Murupu region of Boa Vista, Roraima, Brasil. Jabson is a rural coordinator for the Indigenous Council of Roraima, CIR. He leads the reforesting project and the indigenous community brigades against forest fires. His profession is territorial manager and agent of environmental defence, and he studied indigenous territorial management at the federal university of Roraima, UFRR, specialising as territorial and environmental agent, in geoprocessing and production of maps, and the handling and piloting of drones.

Valéria Pereira Santos has worked as a popular educator since 2001. She represents the Catholic-based Pastoral Land Commission (CPT) in the Executive Coordination of the Campaign in Defense of the Cerrado, created to strengthen the ways of life and territorial rights of traditional communities such as geraizeiros, brejeiros, babassu breakers, Fundo and Fechos de Pasto communities, peasants, agrarian reform settlers, indigenous and quilombola peoples of nine Brazilian states.

André Campos is a journalist specialized in supply chain investigations. Since 2006, he is a member of the NGO Repórter Brasil, one of the leading sources of information about environmental and human rights issues in Brazil, where he coordinates several investigative projects of the organization, published through in-deep reports, news articles, documentary films and other formats. His work covers topics like modern slavery, deforestation and land-grabbing linked to economic sectors such as soy farming, illegal logging and cattle raising. He has been nominated for international media prizes like the British Journalism Awards, the German Media Development Awards and the Gabriel Garcia Marquez Journalism Award.

Prof. Larissa Bombardi is a Professor of the University of São Paulo (USP) and world-renowned researcher in the field of pesticides, their uses in agriculture and their impacts on society and the environment. As a result of her research Prof. Bombardi is experiencing a series of threats and attacks, to such an extent that she had to leave her home and working country, Brazil. She is now based in Brussels.


Link to presentations

Link to presentation from Professor Larissa Bombardi



14h00 – 14h05   Introduction

14h05 – 14h15   André Campos from Repórter Brazil describing the context of soy farming in Brazil

14h15 – 14h35   Community leader Valéria Pereira Santos from the Brazilian Cerrado talking about the impacts of soy production on their daily lives, illustrated with video footage

14h35 – 14h45   Prof. Larissa Bombardi from University of São Paulo talking about the impact of pesticides use on local communities

14h45 – 15h00   State of the political process in the EU with regards to biofuels

15h00 – 15h25   Q&A discussion

15h25 – 15h30   Conclusions