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Environmental management: critical analysis, scenarios and challenges

This article discusses the limits, alternatives and challenges of environmental management in contemporary globalized capitalist societies. It is based on a critical analysis supported by authors from social sciences, political ecology and public health. To this end, we systematize the meaning of hegemonic environmental management in terms of eco-efficiency and its limits to tackle environmental risks and construct democratic processes and societies. We developed four ideal scenarios involving possible combinations of environmental management and democracy. This model served as a base, together with academic studies and the theoretical and militant experience of the authors, for a reflection on the current characteristics and future trends of environmental management and democracy, with emphasis on the reality of Latin America, specifically Brazil. Lastly, we discuss possibilities for social transformation taking into consideration the contradictions and emancipatory alternatives resulting from confrontations between hegemonic tendencies of the market and counter-hegemonic utopias and social movements. The latter assume principles of environmental justice, economic solidarity, agro-ecology and sustainability as well as the construction of new epistemologies.

environmental management; democracy; future scenarios; eco-efficiency; citizen control

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