1st Edition

Routledge Handbook of Latin America and the Environment

    498 Pages 68 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    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 an 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 most treatments on the topic by studying the environment as a social issue inextricably linked to politics, economy, and culture. The Handbook 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 of topics organized according to three areas: physical geography, ecology, and crucial environmental problems of the region. These are key theoretical and methodological issues used to understand Latin America’s ecosocial contexts, and institutional and grassroots practices related to more just and ecologically 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.

    Part I Introduction

    Chapter 1 Suturing the Open Veins of Latin America, Building Epistemic Bridges: Latin-American Environmentalism for the 21st Century

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

    Part II: 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 Cabral 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

    Part III: 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 Merlinsky 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

    Part IV: Environmental Struggle and Resistance

    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

    Part V: Environmental Disputes 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

    Part VI: Toward 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

    Melissa Moreano Venegas, Diana Carolina Murillo Martín, Nadia Romero Salgado, Karolien Van Teijlingen, Iñigo Arrazola Aranzabal, Manuel Bayón Jiménez, Angus Lyall and Diana Vela-Almeida

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

    Georges F. Félix

    Chapter 36. Re-existance 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

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

    Chapter 39. Community Contributions to a Just Energy Transition

    Juan Pablo Soler Villamizar


    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 produces 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 Department of Geography and Environmental Studies of SUNY New Paltz (US), teaching courses on physical and people–environment geography as well as on socialism. He is Senior Editor for Capitalism Nature Socialism and Reviews Editor for Human Geography. He 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 the environment.

    Gustavo García-López is an engaged researcher, educator, and apprentice organizer, from the islands of Puerto Rico. He has experience in transdisciplinary social-environmental studies. His work is situated at the intersection of ecology and the political, postcolonial/decolonial, and Latin American and Caribbean studies. He engages with commons and commoning, autogestion, and environmental and climate justice issues. He is part of the JunteGente collective in Puerto Rico, the Post-Extractive Futures initiative, 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.

    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.

    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 "green grabbing", 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.