Routledge Handbook of Latin America and the Environment  book cover
1st Edition

Routledge Handbook of Latin America and the Environment

  • Available for pre-order on May 10, 2023. Item will ship after May 31, 2023
ISBN 9780367361860
May 31, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
520 Pages 68 B/W Illustrations

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $250.00

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

The Routledge Handbook of Latin America and the Environment provides an in-depth and accessible analysis and theorization of environmental issues in the region. It will help readers make connections between Latin American and other regions’ perspectives, experiences, and environmental concerns.

Latin America has seen an acceleration of environmental degradation due to the expansion of resource extraction and urban areas. This Handbook addresses Latin America not only as object of study, but also as a region with a long and profound history of critical thinking on these themes. Furthermore, the Handbook departs from the environment as a social issue inextricably linked to politics, economy and culture. It will be an invaluable resource for those wanting not only to understand the issues, but also to engage with ideas about environmental politics and social-ecological transformation. The handbook covers a broad range organized in three areas: physical geography, ecology and crucial environmental problems of the region, key theoretical and methodological issues used to understand Latin America’s ecosocial contexts, and institutional and grassroots practices related to more just and sustainable worlds.

The Handbook will set a research agenda for the near future and provide comprehensive research on most subregions relative to environmental transformations, challenges, struggles and political processes. It stands as a fresh and much needed state of the art introduction for researchers, scholars, post-graduates and academic audiences on Latin American contributions to theorization, empirical research and environmental practices.

Table of Contents


Beatriz Bustos, Salvatore Engel-Di Mauro, Gustavo García-López, Felipe Milanez, and Diana Ojeda

Section 2: Material Aspects: The Ecology and Environmental Geography of Latin America [suggestion: Biophysical Processes and Environmental Histories /How we got here: Biophysical Processes and Environmental Histories]

Chapter 2. Latin American ecosystems vulnerability in a climate change scenario

Patricio Pliscoff

Chapter 3. Soil degradation and land cover change in Latin America

Daniela Manuschevich, Marco Pfeiffer, and Jorge Perez-Quezada

Chapter 4. Climate Change Impacts on Caribbean Coastal Ecosystems: Emergent Ecological and Environmental Geography Challenges

Edwin A. Hernández-Delgado

Chapter 5. An Environmental History of the ‘Second Conquest’: Agricultural Export Boom and Landscape-Making in Latin America, ca.1850-1930

Diogo de Carvalho and Lise Sédrez

Chapter 6. Extractivism: The Port-a-cathed Veins of Guatemala

Liza Grandia

Chapter 7. Environmental Colonialism and Neocolonialism in Latin America

Chris O’Connell and Rocio Silva Santisteban

Chapter 8. Water scarcity in Latin America

Maria Fragkou, Natalia Dias Tadeu, Vanessa Empinotti, Rodrigo Fuster, Maria Teresa Oré, Facundo Rojas, Anahí Urquiza, and Lucrecia Wagner

Section 3: Theoretical and methodological aspects: Understanding Latin American environmental issues in political-economic context

Chapter 9. The Political Economy of the Environment in Latin America

Amalia Leguizamón

Chapter 10. Ecological debt and extractivism

Tatiana Roa Avendaño

Chapter 11. Trajectories of adaptation to climate change in Latin American cities: Climate justice blind spots

María Gabriela Merslinsky and Melina Ayelén Tobías

Chapter 12. Environmental disasters and critical politics

Alejandro Camargo and Juan Antonio Cardoso

Chapter 13. Latin America in the Chemical Vortex of Agrarian Capitalism

María Soledad Castro Vargas and Finn Mempel

Chapter 14. Resource Radicalisms

Thea Riofrancos

Chapter 15. The fruits of labor or the fruits of nature? Towards a political ecology of labor in Central America

Andrés León Araya

Chapter 16. Transnationals, Dependent Development and the Environment in Latin America in the 21st Century

Paul Cooney

Chapter 17. Challenging the logic of ‘the open veins’? The geography of resource rents distribution in Peru and Bolivia

Felipe Irarrazaval

Section 4: Environmental Conflicts and Resistance to Structural Violence

Chapter 18. Resistance of women from "sacrifice zones" to extractivism in Chile. A framework for rethinking a feminist political ecology

Paola Bolados García

Chapter 19. Environmental conflicts and violence in Latin America: Experiences from Peru

Raquel Neyra

Chapter 20. Quilombos and the Fight Against Racism in the Context of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Givânia Maria da Silva and Bárbara Oliveira Souza

Chapter 21. The "Greening" by Sustainable Development: Stretching Biopiracy

Ana Isla

Chapter 22. Territorialization through the Milpa: Zapatismo and Indigenous Autonomy

Mariana Mora

Chapter 23. Indigenous Autonomies as Alternative Horizons in Latin America: Societal movements and other territorialities in Bolivia and Mexico

Pabel López Flores

Chapter 24. Land occupations and land reform in Brazil

Nashieli Rangel Loera

Chapter 25. From Chico Mendes to Berta Cáceres: responses to the murders of environmental defenders

Diana Jiménez Thomas, Grettel Navas, and Arnim Scheidel

Section 5: Knowledges and experiences: Environmental policies in Latin America [suggestion: Environmental Struggles and Policies]

Chapter 26. Latin America's Approach in the International Environmental Debate. From Stockholm 72 to Rio + 20. Between "eco-development" and "sustainable development"

Fernando Estenssoro Saavedra

Chapter 27. Degrowth and Buen Vivir: perspectives for a great transformation

Alberto Acosta

Chapter 28. Social Cartographies in Latin America

Gerónimo Barrera de la Torre

Chapter 29. Rights of Nature and Specialization in Jurisprudence: Moving Forward to Better Protect Our Environment?

Ximena Insunza Corvalán

Chapter 30. How tenure reform processes can lead to community-based resource management? Experiences from Latin America

Iliana Monterroso

Chapter 31. Environmental Policy and Institutional Change: The Consequences of Mobilization

Ezra Spira-Cohen and Eduardo Silva

Section 6: Decolonising Environments to Build Oppression-Free Futures

Chapter 32. Feminist thought and environmental defense in Latin America

Diana Ojeda

Chapter 33. Decolonising time through communalising spatial practices

María Carolina Olarte-Olarte and María Juliana Flórez Flórez

Chapter 34. Environmental Thought in Movement: Territory, Ecologisms, and Liberation in Latin America

Colectivo de Geografía Crítica del Ecuador

Chapter 35. Agroecology and Food Sovereignty in the Caribbean: Insights from Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Sint Maarten

Georges F. Félix

Chapter 36. Rexistance struggles and socio-ecological alternatives for reproduction of dignified and sustainable life in territories affected by the extractivist offensive in Latin America

Mina Lorena Navarro, Sandra Rátiva Gaona, and Talita Furtado Montezuma

Chapter 37. The Dimensions of Life: Environment, Subject, and Amerindian Thought

Ailton Krenak and Felipe Milanez

Chapter 38. Environmental Justice Movements as Movements for Life and Decolonization: Experiences from Puerto Rico

Gustavo García-López, Katia R. Avilés-Vázquez, Evelyn Moreno Ortiz, Roberto Thomas Ramírez, Jesús J. Vázquez Negrón, José Santos Valderrama, Angélica M. Reyes Díaz, Marissa Reyes Díaz, Carol E. Ramos Gerena, and Elga Vanessa Uriarte Centeno

Chapter 39. Community Contributions to A Just Energy Transition

Juan Pablo Soler Villamizar

View More



Beatriz Bustos is an associate professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Chile. Her research focuses on resources geography and the sociopolitical transformations that exploitation of natural resources produce in rural communities. Her work ranges from examining the geography of commodities such as salmon, copper, wine, agro-industries, coal, lithium and green hydrogen, to rural livelihoods under neoliberal extractive economies. More recently she is researching ideas of rural citizenship.

Salvatore Engel-Di Mauro is Professor at the Geography Department of SUNY New Paltz (US), teaching courses on physical and people-environment geography as well as on socialism. He is Chief Editor for Capitalism Nature Socialism and has recently published Socialist States and Environment and, with George Martin, Urban Food Production for Ecosocialism. His research areas include soil contamination and acidification, urban food production, and socialism and environment.

Gustavo is an engaged researcher, educator, and apprentice organizer, from the islands of Puerto Rico (Borikén as the indigenous taínos called it). He has experience in transdisciplinary social-environmental studies. His work is situated broadly at the intersection of ecology and the political, but he also cultivates inevitable interests in postcolonial/decolonial, Caribbean, island, Puerto Rican and Latin American studies. Some of the themes he engages with are the commons and commoning, autogestion, mutual aid, environmental justice (and climate/energy/water/land justice). His praxis seeks to contribute to mobilizing against exploitation and for the systemic changes we need. He participated in co-organizing the 3-day Post-Extractive Futures event. He is founding member of the JunteGente collective in Puerto Rico, the Climate Justice Network and the Undisciplined Environments blog. He lives uprooted from his lands but finding home and guiding stars in his daughter Maia. He is held in life by broad networks of care and nourishment, of people, spirits, memories, and ecologies.

Diana Ojeda is Associate Professor at Cider (Center for Interdisciplinary Development Studies) at Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia. Her work analyses processes of greengrabbing, dispossession and state formation from a perspective that combines feminist political ecology and critical agrarian studies. More recently, her research has focused on pesticide use in Colombia.

Felipe Milanez is Assistant Professor at the Institute for Humanities, Arts and Sciences Profesor Milton Santos, at the Federal University of Bahia, Brazil. Author of Memórias Sertanistas: Cem Anos de Indigenismo no Brasil and Guerras da Conquista, with Fabrício Lyro, his work and activism focus on the violence against environmental defenders, the genocide of indigenous peoples and ecocide. More recently, his research dedicates to learn with indigenous art, anti-colonial epistemologies and political ecologies from Abya Yala.