Friday, March 29, 2013

Traditionally Occupied Lands in Brazil

For several decades, social groups that were once “invisible” in Brazil have formed movements based on collective identities closely tied to natural resources use in specific territories. Their mobilization is a response to illegal land speculation, rural violence, and resource degradation associated with the expansion of agro-business, mining, and other activities that threaten many of the natural resources and collective-use territories upon which these groups have long inhabited. In spite of changes in Brazilian legislation that facilitate the recognition of land use based on collective identities – the Brazilian Federal Constitution of 1988 recognizes the rights of quilombolas, indigenous people, and other “traditional” populations – many groups throughout the country continue to struggle to obtain formal recognition of their lands and the resources they depend upon for survival.

Based on more than thirty years of research focusing on social movement mobilization and land issues throughout Brazil, Alfredo Wagner Berno de Almeida’s book Traditionally Occupied Lands in Brazil analyses the relationship between the rise of social movements based on collective identities and the “traditionally occupied lands” that many of these groups are struggling to defend, maintain, and recover.

As a point of departure for understanding resource conflict, this text presents a detailed analysis of the divergence between the official land use and property rights legislation in Brazil and the land use and cultural practices of various social groups struggling to maintain their “traditionally occupied lands” and associated cultural practices. By comparing and contrasting how natural resources are used, owned, and appropriated in Brazil, this book provides a unique vision of the connections between shared identities, social movement formation, land use practices, and natural resource conflict.

Author: Alfredo Wagner Berno de Almeida
ISBN: 978-85-7883-149-3
Publisher: PGSCA-UFAM, Manaus, 2011

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