Desenvolvimento e Meio Ambiente (Dec 2015)

Political Ecology in Latin America: the Social Re-Appropriation of Nature, the Reinvention of Territories and the Construction of an Environmental Rationality

  • Carlos Walter Porto-Gonçalves,
  • Enrique Leff

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 35
pp. 65 – 88


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Political ecology is the disciplinary and political field regarding the encountering of different rationalities for the social appropriation of nature and the construction of a sustainable future. This historical purpose demands the deconstruction of theories and practices built on the foundations of scientific, economic, technological and political modern rationality, inscribed in national and international institutions of the globalized world and rooted in the life-worlds of the people, to establish new socio-environmental relations. Political ecology operates this deconstruction not only in theory, but through emancipation practices of those people engaged in struggles for the reinvention of their identities and the re-appropriation of their bio-cultural territories. Environmental rationality deconstructs the economic rationality by constructing an eco-technological-cultural paradigm of production founded on the principle of negentropic productivity. The conditions of life of diverse cultures, registered on people’s imaginaries and practices, reemerge today in the re-signification and re-affirmation of cultural identities in their struggles for the re-appropriation of nature and re-territorialization of their life-worlds.