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6240 - Globalization in the Brazilian Amazon region: conflicting answers from two « quilombo" communities

During the 1990’s and 2000’s, a great number of “traditional” populations were granted land rights in Brazil. Innovative legal statuses were created, either for the sake of environmental protection, or as a function of the social or ethical status of specific groups (indigenous people, quilombo communities, etc.), whose right to land is justified by the “special relationship” between these societies and their territory. Yet, traditional communities are now facing contradictory pressures caused by Brazilian public policies and by globalization processes. On the one hand, they were granted land under the assumption that they would maintain their traditional way of life, characterized a by low ecosystem impact. On the other hand, they are increasingly connected to global markets and information technology, which challenge these societies to improve their life conditions by developing new economic activities. However , some of these include practices that are considered less compatible with the preservation of the environment and prompting changes in their “traditional” lifestyle. Our study is based on a comparative study of two quilombo communities embedded in different geohistorical contexts in the Brazilian Amazon: one is situated in the Amapá state (Cunani), the other one in Pará (Abuí). If both communities have recently integrated new economic activities into their traditional land-use system (cattle-raising, acai production,...), their demographic developments have been contrasting: whereas Abui, the first quilombo in Brazil to have been attributed specific land rights, is today characterized by population growth and a dynamic economy, Cunani, still waiting for its legal recognition, is experiencing a constant decrease of its population and economic performance. This presentation aims at understanding what “globalization” means in a specific Amazonian context. The question that we raise is if land tenure security is likely to explain the success of Abui in comparison to the decline of Cunani. If yes, this would in fact mean that land security in the context of quilombo communities in the Amazon region constitutes a crucial factor for a successful integration of globalisation processes into traditional socioeconomic systems.          

Palavras-chaves: Brazilian Amazon, quilombo communities, land tenure, globalization

Autores: Greissing, Anna (CREDA-CNRS, France / Frankreich)

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