About the Book
The natural wealth of the Amazon and Andes has long attracted fortune seekers, from explorers, farmers, and gold panners to multimillion-dollar mining, oil and gas, and timber operations. Modern demands for commodities have given rise to new development schemes, including hydroelectric dams, open cast mines, and industrial agricultural operations. The history of human habitation in this region is intimately tied to its rich biodiversity, and the Amazon basin is home to scores of indigenous groups, many of whom have populations so small that their cultural and physical survival is endangered.
Landscapes of Inequity explores the debate over rights to and use of resources and addresses fundamental questions that inform the debate in the western Amazon basin, from the Andes Mountains to the tropical lowlands. Beginning with an examination of the divergent conceptual interpretations of environmental justice, the volume explores the issue from two interlocking perspectives: of indigenous peoples and of economic development in a global economy. The volume concludes by examining the efficacy of laws and policies concerning the environment in the region, the viability and range of judicial recourse, and future directions in the field of environmental justice.
Nicholas A. Robins is a teaching professor of history at North Carolina State University. He is the author of several books, including Mercury, Mining, and Empire: The Human and Ecological Cost of Colonial Silver Mining in the Andes and Of Love and Loathing: Marital Life, Strife, and Intimacy in the Colonial Andes, 1750–1825 (Nebraska, 2015). Barbara J. Fraser is a freelance writer covering environmental, public health, indigenous, and social issues. Her work has appeared in publications including Nature, Science, EcoAmericas, the Lancet, and Discover.
“Environmental injustice most often plays out of sight and mind. Landscapes of Inequity’s brilliant analysis helps ensure this can never happen again. A must-read.”—Thomas E. Lovejoy, University Professor of Environmental Science and Policy at George Mason University
“Landscapes of Inequity provides a sensitive and nuanced road map of the last thirty years of efforts to introduce new models of development in Amazonia and is an unusually coherent collection for understanding the good the bad and the ugly in the transformation of the Latin American tropics.”—Susanna B. Hecht, professor at the Luskin School of Public Affairs, Institute of the Environment, University of California, Los Angeles