Landscapes of Inequity


Landscapes of Inequity

Environmental Justice in the Andes-Amazon Region

Edited and with an introduction by Nicholas A. Robins and Barbara J. Fraser

414 pages
6 maps, 7 tables, index


July 2020


$65.00 Pre-order

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.


Author Bio

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 

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Introduction, Barbara J. Fraser and Nicholas A. Robins

Part I: Extracting Resources, Imposing Inequity
Chapter 1: A Toxic Reckoning: Legacy Contamination in Huancavelica, Peru, Nicholas A. Robins
Chapter 2: When the Rivers Run Black: Oil and Inequity in the Western Amazon, Barbara J. Fraser

Part II: Macro-Development and Marginalization
Chapter 3: Environmental Justice and Brazil’s Amazonian Dams, Philip M. Fearnside
Chapter 4: When “Plurinational” States Undermine Indigenous Territories: TIPNIS in Bolivia, Carwil Bjork-James
Chapter 5: Environmental Justice in the REDD+ Frontier: Experiences from the Amazon and Beyond. Juan Pablo Sarmiento and Anne M. Larson

Part III: Territorial Rights, Eco-cosmology, and the Quest for Environmental Justice
Chapter 6: Indigenism, Isolation and Socioenvironmental Conflicts in the Javari River Valley, Barbara Arisi and Felipe Milanez
Chapter 7: We Are Here: The State of Community-Based Landscapes in Peru, Richard Chase Smith
Chapter 8: In Search of Justice and Power: Contentious Experiences of Free, Prior and Informed Consent in Latin America, Roger Merino
Chapter 9: Indigenous Amazonian Peoples and the Struggle for Environmental Justice in Lowland South America, Jonathan D. Hill

Epilogue:Environmental Justice in the Andes/Amazon Region: Illusive, Elusive or Within Reach? Barbara J. Fraser and Nicholas A. Robins
Contributor Bios

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