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Vibrant: Virtual Brazilian Anthropology

versão On-line ISSN 1809-4341

Resumo

ZHOURI, Andréa  e  OLIVEIRA, Raquel. Development and environmental conflicts in Brazil: challenges for anthropology and anthropologists. Vibrant, Virtual Braz. Anthr. [online]. 2012, vol.9, n.1, pp.181-208. ISSN 1809-4341.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1809-43412012000100007.

In the last three decades, since the democratization of the country and the rise of environmental concerns, Brazil has created a regulatory framework capable of dealing with the environmental impact of its core developmental policies. An environmental governance package has been constructed, with the environmental licensing process as its major instrument. However, this process is based on an urban planning perspective with little assessment of specific local ecological conditions and social organizations. Indeed, the process of globalization has resulted in an intensive exploitation of natural resources, which increases the use of marginal economic areas and the expansion of the economic frontiers into territories occupied by family agriculture, traditional peoples and ethnic minorities. Hence, we see the creation of conflict zones involving locals, state sectors and entrepreneurial groups. Increasingly, within this context, anthropologists have been required to act as experts and mediators by different groups, including state institutions, private companies, and social movements. Based on ethnographic research about the environmental licensing processes of hydroelectric dams in Brazil, this paper focuses on the limits of anthropological knowledge, the contexts of its production and the role of anthropologists in political processes involving unequal networks of power.

Palavras-chave : conflict; anthropological knowledge; environmental licensing process.

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