Building Environmental Justice in Brazil: A Preliminary Discussion of Environmental Racism


The environmental and social costs of Brazilian economic development have been paid by displaced populations in rural areas and poor residents of shantytowns in urban and metropolitan regions. These population segments mainly consist of blacks and “pardos” (mulattos). In spite of Brazil’s supposed lack of racist policies, the country has inherited certain aspects of the culture of slavery that create inequalities, including environmental ones that are largely accepted as “natural.”

Some efforts have been made to denounce this situation and create real sustainable development. These efforts aim at the empowerment of vulnerable populations so that recognized formal rights of citizenship may be actually obtained. This chapter focuses on cases that exemplify such efforts including the Brazilian Forum of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and Social Movements for Sustainability (1990), the Brazilian Network for Environmental Justice (2001), and the First Brazilian Seminar against Environmental Racism (2005).


Social Movement Environmental Justice Gross National Product Internal Debt Building Environmental 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universidade Federal FluminenseBrazil
  2. 2.Federação de Órgãos para Assistência Social e EducacionalBrazil

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