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Amazonian Conquests and the Politics of Deforetation


Cathy Marie Ouellette

Muhlenberg College
About Cathy Marie
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A recent New York Times publication reported on the relationship between deforestation in the Amazon and a policy shift from Brazil’s recently elected President Dilma Rousseff (Barrionuevo 2012). The article underscored recent advances in preservation, noting that deforestation in Brazil had successfully slowed over the past ten years. Yet environmental activists are now contending with a provision allowing Rousseff to reduce the land set aside for conservation, testing the Forest Code enacted forty seven years ago. International pressure faces Brazil’s Congress as Rio de Janeiro prepares to host the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development this summer. Agriculture accounts for twenty two percent of Brazil’s Gross Domestic Product, and thus the pressure to continue developing while also protecting the rainforest is immense. In the popular imaginary, the debate between conservation and land use is reduced to the question of protectionism at the expense of negative global climate change.

How to Cite: Ouellette, C.M., (2012). Amazonian Conquests and the Politics of Deforetation. Middle Atlantic Review of Latin American Studies. 25(1), pp.20–27. DOI:
Published on 01 Jan 2012.
Peer Reviewed


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