Natural Resources, Development and Modernization: The Social and Environmental Consequences in the Lower San Francisco River in Brazil

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 14:45
Location: Hörsaal BIG 2 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Tania SILVA, Universidade Federal de Sergipe, Brazil
Cristiane GUEDES, Instituto Federal de Sergipe, Brazil
This communication presents the preliminary results of the project "Social and Environmental Change in the Lower San Francisco:  The future of navigation and the consequences on the modus vivendi of boatmen", and that continues a larger study about sociocultural universe the local population forward the changes in the natural environment: forms of resistance and civil society engagement. The various government interventions along this watershed, on behalf of the energy sector, today has been reflected in the commitment of the survival of fishermen and navigability, compromising the identity of the boatmen and the river. The study seeks to answer for some questions: What are the main problems experienced by bordering the Lower San Francisco before the successive interventions of the Federal Government? As the locals, who can no longer live off fishing or rice planting in paddy fields, has survived? What is the future of navigation and boatmen in an increasingly threatened river? It is possible to reconcile the advances of modernization in the region with traditional forms of existence?  The concept of sustainable development does not need to be rethought? The present study seeks answers to these questions in the field of contemporary sociology. The study is theoretical support the concepts of modernity and identity, cultural identity, the myth of untouched nature and the concept of sustainable development. The key point for the analysis is the reports and documents produced by the NGO Canoa de Tolda, which operates in the region for over ten years in a struggle to preserve the lives of boaters and fishermen threatened by numerous government interventions along the river that has harmed navigability and fishery exploitation.