We are ISA, Instituto Socioambiental

Why socioenvironmental is written and practiced together

Since 1994 we have been working alongside indigenous, quilombola and extractivist communities, our historical partners, to develop solutions that protect their territories, strengthen their culture and traditional knowledge, raise their political profile and develop sustainable economies.

“It is urgent to adopt a socioenvironmental perspective to look at the planet.”         
Beto Ricardo, founding partner of ISA

Since 2001, ISA is an Oscip – Civil Society Organization of Public Interest. We have teams and permanent offices in São Paulo, the Federal District and four Amazonian states, in addition to long-term commitments with partners in the Vale do Ribeira, Xingu and Rio Negro regions.


How we act:

Our mission is to defend Brazilian socio-environmental diversity, whether in the corridors of Brasília or on the forest floor. 

Where we operate:

Headquartered in São Paulo (SP), ISA has sub-headquarters in Brasília (DF), Manaus (AM), Boa Vista (RR), São Gabriel da Cachoeira (AM), Canarana (MT), Eldorado (SP) and Altamira (PA).


Strategic Management Council - CGE

Meet those responsible for defining ISA guidelines, strategies and guidelines

Who does the ISA

Discover the dreams, thoughts and words of those who work in our teams


Our history

Browse the timeline and discover important milestones in our trajectory

 triangle 2023

Carbon: what you need to know

The series 'Carbono: what you need to know' is launched. Produced in partnership with Rede Xingu+, the series of animations provides, in four episodes, information so that indigenous peoples and traditional communities understand a carbon project and its impacts.




Pulse, Xingu!

Animation presents the Piracemas Hydrogram, proposed by Juruna researchers, academics and riverside dwellers to revive the Volta Grande do Xingu after Belo Monte.




 triangle 2022

Casa Floresta Podcast

Casa Floresta is a series of podcasts produced by Instituto Socioambiental (ISA) and its partners, indigenous people, riverside dwellers and quilombolas who live in the basins of the Negro, Xingu and Ribeira de Iguape rivers. The team took guests and special guests to get to know the communities and their initiatives. There were 17 days of recording in four states (São Paulo, Mato Grosso, Amazonas and Pará), which resulted in deep and transformative dives into the black and indigenous roots of Brazil.



 triangle 2021

The movie "Forest Makers" is released

ISA and Rede de Sementes do Xingu launch the virtual reality film "Fazedores de Floresta", which presents, with narration by seed collector Milene Alves (bottom left), how the union of indigenous peoples, traditional communities and local communities made it possible to an innovative movement for forest restoration in the Xingu, Teles Pires and Araguaia river basins, in Mato Grosso.


Forest Makers

Xingu Seed Network Collectors|Tui Anandi/ISA

 triangle 2020

The #ForaGarimpoForaCovid campaign is born 

ISA participates in a large mobilization of indigenous organizations and organizations for the protection of the environment and human rights to support the Forum of Yanomami and Ye'kwana Leadership in the campaign Fora Garimpo, Fora Covid The indigenous people demanded that the federal government expel invaders, the main vectors for the entry of Covid-19 into the Indigenous Land. The petition, demanded by indigenous people from a meeting in 2019, gathered almost 439 thousand signatures and had the intense participation of artists and digital influencers.



Watoriki Village, in the Yanomami Indigenous Land|Victor Moriyama/ISA

Emergency actions in the Covid-19 pandemic

ISA redirects its field activities and, promoting an alliance between government and civil society, focuses on emergency actions during the Covid-19 pandemic to support indigenous, riverine, extractive and quilombola local partners. The project won the 2020 European Union Human Rights Award.


Covid 19 emergency

Khikatxi Village, in the Wawi Indigenous Land|Kamikiá Kisêdjê

 triangle 2019

ISA celebrates 25 years

The celebration included the screening of films by indigenous filmmakers and the launch of the book Cercos e Resistências: Povos Indígenas Isolados, with the presence of indigenous leaders such as Davi Kopenawa and Olímpio Guajajara.

Forest Peoples

Forest Peoples Campaign"|Daniel Klajmic/Prodigo

 triangle 2018

The #TáNaHoraDaRoça campaign is launched, by the quilombolas of Vale do Ribeira

The traditional swidden is essential for the quilombolas of Vale do Ribeira, but they depend on authorization from the Government of São Paulo to prepare their plantations. To pressure the government of the state of São Paulo for the valorization of quilombola gardens and the release of authorizations for the opening of gardens, the quilombolas, with the support of ISA, mobilized more than 7,5 signatures in the campaign.

It's rock time!

Campaign "It's Time for the Countryside"|Claudio Tavares/ISA

 triangle 2017

The campaign goes live #LessPrejudiceMaisIndio

To draw society's attention to the indigenous issue and the diversity and culture of these populations, ISA invited Brazil to look at native peoples with more generosity, respect and without prejudice.


Campaign "Less Prejudice More Indians"|Daniel Klajmic/Prodigo

forest fire

Directed by Tadeu Jungle and narrated by actress Fernanda Torres, the film is made up of 360-degree scenes that take the viewer into the daily life of the indigenous community and presents a threat that looms over the Waurá and all the people of the Amazon: fire out of control.




 triangle 2014

Canoe Bye Bye Xingu crosses a stretch of river that would be barred by Belo Monte

The approximately 120 members of the first edition of the Canoada Bye Bye Xingu, promoted by ISA, covered more than 100km in the section called Volta Grande do Rio Xingu, in Pará, which was blocked at the end of 2015 by the Belo Monte hydroelectric plant. There were five annual editions until 2018.

Canoada ByeBye Xingu

First edition of Canoada Bye Bye Xingu|Zé Gabriel/Greenpeace

The Origins Brazil Seal is born

In partnership with Imaflora and local associations of indigenous peoples, riverside dwellers, extractivists and quilombolas, the Origins Brasil Network is launched to value forest products. The objective is to provide more transparency to forest product chains, ensuring their origin and helping consumers to identify companies that value and respect the importance of keeping the forest standing.


Brazil Origins Seal

Basket from the Maturacá region, Yanomami Land|Amanda Latosinski/ISA

 triangle 2013

ISA publishes "Quilombola Cultural Inventory of the Ribeira Valley"

The publication is the result of a detailed survey of the cultural references of 16 quilombos in Vale do Ribeira. In addition to the publication, a video was also released.

Cultural Inventory of the Quilombos of the Ribeira Valley

Zeni Florindo, Quilombo of Ivaporunduva|Loiro Cunha/ISA

 triangle 2011

Sites of Conservation Units and Indigenous Lands are created

The website on Conservation Units (UCs) in the Brazilian Amazon gathers information about each one of them regarding management, environmental characterization (watershed, phytophysiognomy, speleological heritage, among others), location, overlap with Indigenous Lands and legal documents, among others.


Conservation units

Anavilhanas National Park, AM|Jaime Gesisky

The Indigenous Lands website has the largest updated database on 724 lands - in identification, identified, demarcated, homologated and reserved - throughout Brazil, including location, population and related news.


Indigenous Lands

Tapuruquara Mountains, Middle Rio Negro II Indigenous Land | Rogério Assis/ISA

Xingu+50 Indigenous Park event debates sustainability

About 600 indigenous leaders of different ethnicities, indigenists, anthropologists, doctors, photographers, plastic artists and businessmen participated in the exhibition celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the Xingu Indigenous Park (PIX) at Cinemateca in São Paulo. During the event, the Socio-Environmental Almanac of the Xingu Indigenous Park was launched.


Xingu Indigenous Park+50

Kisêdjê people gather in Khinkatxi village|Christian Braga/ISA

 triangle 2009

CCPY becomes part of ISA

Founded in 1999 with the mission of defending the territorial, cultural and civil rights of the Yanomami people, the Pro-Yanomami Commission, which operates in the Yanomami Indigenous Land, becomes part of the ISA, which establishes a sub-headquarters in Boa Vista (RR).

David Kopenawa

Davi Kopenawa at the II Yanomami and Ye'kwana Leadership Forum|Adriana Duarte/ISA

 triangle 2008

ISA promotes the 1st Traditional Seeds Fair of Vale do Ribeira

The fair, considered an action to safeguard the traditional quilombola agricultural system, emerged to rescue and preserve the agricultural varieties of the quilombolas in the region. In more than a decade of the fair, more than 200 seed varieties were shared, many of them considered lost by the communities. Every year, the participation of the quilombola communities of Vale do Ribeira in the fair increases.

Ribeira Seed Fair

Muvuca preparation in Gurantã (SP)|Lilla Jessica Brokaw|ISA

 triangle 2007

The Xingu Seed Network is born

The objective is to collect, process and sell seeds from trees and other plants native to the Xingu, Araguaia and Teles Pires regions, promoting local knowledge on the use and recovery of forests in Mato Grosso. The seeds began to be used to plant forests. The plantings are made using an innovative technique: a mixture of native seeds, the “muvuca”, through direct sowing.

Xingu Seed Network

Bruna, Heber and Breno Queiroz prepare muvuca|Tui Anandi/ISA   

 triangle 2004

The Y Ikatu Xingu - Save the Good Water of the Xingu Campaign is launched

Created during the 1st Nascentes do Rio Xingu Meeting, held in Canarana (MT), in 2004, the mobilization was a unique effort by different actors working in the region for the recovery of the headwaters and riparian forests of the Xingu River. In 2006, the campaign gained the support of Gisele Bundchen, a model and socio-environmental activist recognized worldwide.

Yikatu Xingu Campaign

Launch of the Y'ikatu Xingu Campaign|Marcelo Botelho/ISA

ISA celebrates 10 years with the first edition of the Almanaque Brasil Socioambiental

The publication, which took a new look at Brazil, seeks to understand the country based on its diversity of people and environments. It presents an innovative view on the interdependent relationships between social, economic and environmental factors inside and outside Brazil. The second edition was released in late 2007.

Almanac Brazil Socio-environmental

Almanaque Brasil Socioambiental | Douglas Eiji Matsunaga/Instituto Arapyaú

 triangle 2003

Sustainable BR-163 Meeting proposes to the government to review territorial planning policies

The paving of a stretch of highway BR-163 (Cuiabá-Santarém) gave rise to the meeting promoted by ISA in Sinop (MT), which brought together more than 200 participants. This resulted in proposals for the Mato Grosso axis of the road, delivered to the then ministers, Marina Silva, of the Environment, Ciro Gomes, of National Integration and the governor of Mato Grosso, Blairo Maggi.

Ciro Gomes (Minister of National Integration), Marina Silva (Minister of the Environment) and Blairo Maggi (Governor of MT). Sustainable BR-163 Meeting

Meeting of Indigenous Authorities and Leaders|Laércio Santos Miranda

 triangle 2002

Expeditions to Terra do Meio (PA) result in a proposal for an ecological mosaic of the Xingu

At the request of the Ministry of the Environment, ISA prepared a socio-economic and environmental diagnosis of Terra do Meio, in the south of Pará, to present alternatives for the region. He suggested the creation of a mosaic of Conservation Units, due to the enormous diversity that the region harbors and the threats that land grabbing represents. Among the proposals was the creation of the Riozinho do Anfrísio, Iriri and Xingu extractive reserves, which began to be created in 2005.

Middle Earth Expedition

Xingu River, Terra do Meio, Pará|ISA

 triangle 1999

Macapá Seminar points out priority areas for conservation in the Amazon

Organized by ISA, the seminar was part of the project Evaluation and Identification of Priority Actions for the Conservation, Sustainable Use and Sharing of the Benefits of Biodiversity in the Brazilian Amazon. It gathered around 200 people in Macapá (AP), including scientists, researchers and representatives of different bodies of the Ministry of the Environment, state and local governments, universities, research institutes, social movements and NGOs.

Macapá Seminar, 1999 @Luana Capobianco

Marcio Santilli (right), founding partner of ISA|Luana Capobianco

 triangle 1996

The comeback of the giant Indians: the Panará people get their land back

After 20 years of exile in the Xingu Indigenous Park, the justice system declares permanent possession by the Panará of part of their former lands. In 2000 they achieved an unprecedented feat: they won an indemnity suit against the Federal Government and Funai for material and moral damages caused by the contact. ISA acted directly in the process of recognition of the Panará Indigenous Land and in the defense of these rights.

GET TO KNOW the epic journey of the Panará

The Return of the Panará to Iriri @Pedro Martinelli

First group from Panará leaves the Xingu Indigenous Park | Pedro Martinelli

The Amazon Network of Georeferenced Information (Raisg) is founded

Conceived and created by ISA, the Network encourages and enables cooperation between institutions that work with socio-environmental information systems georeferenced in the Amazon, through the exchange, production and dissemination of information. Today, Raisg is coordinated by ISA and is made up of organizations from 6 Amazonian countries (Brazil, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia and Peru). In 2002, after the first meeting, construction began on the Atlas of pressures and threats to indigenous lands in the Brazilian Amazon, launched in 2012. The last version of the Atlas was published in 2020.


Fire in the Xingu Basin

Burning in the Xingu Basin|Marcelo Salazar/ISA

New edition of the book Indigenous Peoples in Brazil is launched

The series was started in 1980 by the Ecumenical Center for Documentation and Information (Cedi) and continued from the foundation of ISA. A reference on the subject, the book presents, every five years, an updated portrait of the situation of indigenous peoples in Brazil. Discover the editions in the ISA Collection.

In 1997, to expand access to information, the Indigenous Peoples in Brazil website, created by ISA and numerous partners and with the participation of numerous partners, to gather up-to-date information and analysis entries from all indigenous peoples. In 2009, ISA launches the website and the book Povos Indígenas no Brasil Mirim, aimed at children and young people.


Indigenous Peoples in Brazil

Launch of the book Indigenous Peoples in Brazil | Claudio Tavares/ISA

 triangle 1994

With the motto "socio-environmental is written together", ISA is founded

Result of the merger with the Nucleus of Indigenous Rights (NDI), with the Indigenous Peoples/Cedi and some people coming from SOS Mata Atlântica, ISA starts its activities. Its mission: to seek alternatives for the territorial management of Indigenous Lands and traditional populations, reconciling income generation, preservation of territorial integrity, conservation of biodiversity and respect for cultural diversity.

ISA logo sketch

One of the first ISA logo tests

Are we going to keep writing this story?


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