Social Movements and Large-Scale Tropical Forest Protection on the Amazon Frontier: Conservation From Chaos

30 de julho de 2010

jul 30, 2010

Stephan Schwartzman, Ane Alencar, Hilary Zarin, Ana Paula Santos Souza

Amazon social movements arose, like many others globally, in conflicts with political and economic elites over land use and resource extraction. Amazon social movements have moved beyond protest to protagonize large-scale forest protection. The article examines the history of the Transamazon highway colonists’ movement and its articulation of an alternative vision of regional sustainable development, leading to successful advocacy for the creation of a 5.6 million-hectare reserve mosaic in the Xingu river basin.

The mosaic connected two blocks of indigenous territories ultimately forming a 30 million-hectare protected forest corridor, halting frontier expansion. While much recent conservation literature critiques international environmentalist agendas in tropical forest conservation, the Transamazon movement’s alliance with environmentalists was mutually beneficial. Amazon social movements’ substantial role in a global increase in protected tropical forest areas since the 1970s merits more attention from both international conservation organizations and scientists.

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