Entangled territorialities on the fringe of development: an investigation on riverine peoples of the “Terra do Meio” and the impacts of the Belo Monte dam in the state of Para, Brazilian Amazon

OCTF seminar followed by drinks – all welcome

The Brazilian Amazon has a rich cultural and ecological diversity evident in three extractive reserves (Resex) in the Para state which are located in a priority area for conservation, known as “Terra do Meio”. These Resex were not considered as ‘affected’ by the Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Natural Resources (IBAMA) during the environmental licensing process, but recent research suggests otherwise. From an interdisciplinary theoretical debate on the concept of territoriality and going beyond the veil of bias that still exist on the Amazonian identity, this research aims to highlight the riverine people perspective on the impacts brought about by dams and discusses how the ongoing mitigating and compensatory measures of Belo Monte in Terra do Meio creates new inequalities among protected areas. It’s also intended to highlight contradictions and challenges for environmental governance in the Brazilian Amazon. The analysis presents the collective identity assumed by people in different territories, deserving context specific policies, and rights, which can maintain each group’s autonomy and sustain their territorialities and livelihoods. In doing so, the study’s case contributes to reduce the cultural, social, economic and ecological impacts of mega-dams and also to improve the evaluation of environmental impacts in the region as a whole.

Maira Borges Fainguelernt graduated with a bachelor degree and licenciate in Geography from Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). A Master in Environmental Science from Federal Fluminense University (UFF). Her master thesis was published by Editora Apicuri in June 2013, entitled “Belo Monte: The Democratic State in Question”. Currently, she is a PhD candidate in Environment and Society at the Center of Environmental Studies and Research (NEPAM) at Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP) under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Emilio Moran. Her current research is interdisciplinary, has the co-orientation of Prof. Dr. Eduardo Brondizio and a financial support by FAPESP and is focused on the impacts of the Belo Monte dam on the territoriality of the riverine populations of the extractive reserves in Terra do Meio (state of Para). In 2016 she was at the Center for Global Change and Earth Observation (CGCEO) at Michigan State University (MSU) doing her academic exchange and today she is doing another exchange at Centre for Latin American Studies (CEDLA), University of Amsterdam.