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Varia Historia

Print version ISSN 0104-8775


FRANCO, José Luiz de Andrade  and  DRUMMOND, José Augusto. Alberto José Sampaio: a Brazilian botanist and his nature protection program. Varia hist. [online]. 2005, vol.21, n.33, pp.129-159. ISSN 0104-8775.

The text discusses the scientific output and the proposals for nature protection by the Brazilian botanist Alberto José Sampaio (1881- 1946), one of Brazil.s leading plant scientists and one of the country.s pioneer conservationists. Several aspects of his trajectory as a scientist, activist and teacher are examined. The emphasis falls on his three major books, published between 1926 and 1935, in which he writes about the geographic distribution of Brazil's vegetational forms and presents many proposals in favor of the rational use and preservation of the country.s natural resources. It is shown that his proposals were influenced by the concept of the need of a strong State that could build a new national identity, based on Brazilian nature. The text concludes that Sampaio.s ideas were quite advanced for his times and that many of them are still relevant to current environmental issues, even after decades of prevalence of a strong developmentalist ideology in which his ideas and those of his contemporary scientific colleagues were almost totally forgotten.

Keywords : botany; nature conservation; environmental policy.

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