The Rio Negro Basin extends through the states of Amazonas and Roraima, in Brazil, and also advances through the neighboring territories of Colombia, Venezuela and Guyana. In its portion in the Amazon, the basin is one of the most preserved regions of the entire Amazon biome, with incalculable biodiversity. On the other hand, the part of the basin located in Roraima has been suffering great environmental degradation caused by illegal gold mining, deforestation and land theft, or "land grabbing".
Approximately 68% of the Rio Negro Basin in Brazil is formally protected by a set of legally recognized conservation units and indigenous lands. The cultural diversity of the region is enormous: 45 indigenous peoples live there and two cultural heritage sites of Brazil are located – the Cachoeira de Iauaretê and the Traditional Agricultural System of the Rio Negro – in addition to the highest point in Brazil, Pico da Neblina, a sacred place of the Yanomami people.
In Rio Negro, ISA maintains long-term work and institutional partnership - which fills us with pride - with indigenous associations and their leaders, including the Federation of Indigenous Organizations of Rio Negro (Foirn), the Hutukara Associação Yanomami (HAY) and the Indigenous Council of Roraima (CIR).
We maintain an office and team in the city of São Gabriel da Cachoeira (AM), considered the most indigenous municipality in Brazil, located in the Alto Rio Negro. From there, in the 1990s, we supported Foirn in the process of self-demarcation of the Alto Rio Negro Indigenous Land. From São Gabriel, we also descended with the Águas do Negro to support indigenous communities and associations in the municipalities of Santa Isabel do Rio Negro and Barcelos, both in Amazonas. In 2009, ISA incorporated the organization Comissão Pró-Yanomami (CCPY), its team and legacy, opening an office in Boa Vista (RR) and starting to work directly with the Yanomami people and other peoples of Roraima.
Currently, ISA works in the Rio Negro Basin with the promotion of training processes, articulating partnerships for the protection of indigenous territories, appreciation of socio-environmental diversity, food security for communities, development of value chains for the forest economy to generate income and production of intercultural research that gives visibility to the traditional knowledge and ways of life of the populations that, for many years, have kept the region's forests preserved.