The article presents a critical view on the notion of governance, mainly in the environmental field, with respect to the empirical models represented by the council of environmental policies and the process of environmental licensing. Environmental governance is inscribed in the ecological modernization paradigm, or adequacy paradigm, centered in the technical, market oriented and consensus building strategies as solutions for the so-called "environmental problems". Through the analysis of the structural and practical problems of the licensing process, the paper highlights the limits of this notion of governance that imposes itself upon territories and peoples. At the end, it is stressed the call for principles related to environmental justice, cultural diversity and accountability as crucial for the constructing of a sustainable society.
Governance; Environmental licensing; Adequacy paradigm; Conflict; Environmental justice