1st Edition

Guardians of the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest: Environmental Organizations and Development

By Luiz C. Barbosa Copyright 2015
    248 Pages 28 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    248 Pages 28 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The Amazon region is the focus of intense conflict between conservationists concerned with deforestation and advocates of agro-industrial development. This book focuses on the contributions of environmental organizations to the preservation of Brazilian AmazoniaIt reveals how environmental organizations such as Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, WWF and others have fought fiercely to stop deforestation in the region. 

    It documents how the history of frontier expansion and environmental struggle in the region is linked to Brazil’s position in an evolving capitalist world-economy. It is shown how Brazil’s effort to become a developed country has led successive Brazilian governments to devise development projects for Amazonia. The author analyses how globalization has led to the expansion of international commodity chains in the region, particularly for mineral ores, soybeans and beef. He shows how environmental organizations have politicized these commodity chains as weapons of conservation, through boycotting certain products, while other pro-development groups within Brazil claim that such organizations threaten Brazil's sovereignty over its own resources.

    1. Introduction 

    2. Brazilian Developmentalism and Environmentalist Challenges 

    3. The Mahogany Moratorium 

    4. The Case of the Soy Moratorium 

    5. Boycotts of Illegally-produced Beef and Leather 

    6. The Case of the Belo Monte Hydroelectric Dam 

    7. Conservative Reactions 

    8. Collaboration 

    9. Conclusions


    Luiz Barbosa is a Professor in the Department of Sociology, San Francisco State University, USA.

    "While the book will be of interest to anyone interested in understanding the history and con-text of the fight to preserve the Brazilian Amazon, it extends beyond the Amazon in the sense that it also provides a comprehensive explanation of the action-sphere of environmental NGO’s in the context of socioeconomic world-systems." – Natureza & Conservação, Ricardo A. Correia , Institute of Biological Sciences and Health, Federal University of Alagoas, Brazil

    "I highly recommend Guardians to any reader interested in the political economy of the Amazon." - Janette Bulkan, University of British Columbia, Canada, in International Forestry Review (2016).

    "I consider Barbosa’s book an excellent text to explore the main challenges that sustainable development and conservation currently face in the Brazilian Amazon, and how these challenges have formed - contemporarily and historically - from multifaceted national and global claims to the region" - Mario L. Cardozo, in "The AAG Review of Books".