In an unprecedented project, the University of Barcelona has mapped environmental conflicts around the world. On the map, Brazil appears in third place (next to Nigeria) in number of disputes, while the Brazilian company Vale ranks fifth in the ranking of companies engaged in these issues.
The map, an interactive platform, is the result of the work of an international experts team coordinated by researchers from the Institute of Science and Environmental Technology of the Spanish university. Among the 58 ongoing environmental conflicts there are land disputes as in the case of Lábrea, a city in Amazonas near the border with Acre and Rondônia, where farmers are victims of threats from loggers and land grabbers. There are still many indigenous conflicts, disputes over water resources and mineral reserves.
In the case of Vale, 14 of the 15 contests in which the company is involved occur in Latin America, especially in Brazil, but there are also cases in Colombia, Peru and Chile. The map also mentions a conflict between the company and farmers in Mozambique.
The map was presented in Brussels last week, by the Delegation of the United Nations Program for Environment. “The map shows how the ecological conflicts are increasing worldwide due to the demand for materials and energy of the world”s middle and richer class,” said Joan Martínez Alier, director of EJOLT. “The communities most impacted by ecological conflicts are poor, often indigenous and with no political power to have access to environmental justice and health systems“, he added.
The map allows users to find and view conflicts by type of material (minerals, hydrocarbons, water or nuclear waste) and also by involved companies and countries. In Latin America, the largest number of cases are documented by the map in Colombia, with 72 cases, Brazil, with 58, Ecuador with 48 environmental conflicts, Argentina, 32, Peru, 31, and Chile with 30 cases.
The initiative, that had the participation of 23 universities and environmental justice organizations from 18 countries, has several goals. Among them, make information more accessible and give more visibility to these problems.
To access the map, click here.
Source: BBC Brazil / Geodireito