"Fighting for the Future: Competing Land-use Models in the History of Protected Areas in the Amazon"

Raoni Rajao,  Federal University of Minas Gerais

Geographers and more recently science and technology scholars have recognized the role of maps, remote sensing imagery and land-use models in not only representing but also governing the territory. As a consequence, these spatial representations have started to be studies not only for their epistemological aspects (i.e in/visibilities and their consequences) but also for the ways in which they perform the world in specific ways. Drawing upon this ongoing debate, this study examines the different land-use models that have shaped the creation of protected areas in the Amazon from the 1970s to the present. In particular, it shows that foresters, soil experts, veterinarians and more recently, biologists and simulation modelers have supported and fostered specific visions of both the present and the future of the Amazon. This examination indicates the central role of science and technology in both the colonization (and destruction) of the rainforest and the attempts to protect it. Furthermore, it reveals how the visions of the future embedded in these land-use models have been shaping the region in the last four decades. 

Friday, March 31st, 3:30 pm, 180 Science Hall