CARLOS REBORATTI AMBIENTE Y SOCIEDAD PDF

See details and download book: Library Genesis Ambiente Y Sociedad Conceptos Y Relaciones By Carlos Reboratti Pdf 1 Environmental Conflicts and Environmental Justice in Argentina Carlos Reboratti, . It was only in that the “Secretaría de Medio Ambiente” ( Argentina’s .. ambientales ante las coacciones de la globalización”, en Nueva Sociedad. Espacio, tiempo, ambiente y escala. Carlos Reboratti ¿Por qué interesa discutir este problema? Porque los problemas provienen de la.

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Skip to main content. Log J Sign Up. Socio-environmental Conflict in Argentina. Surveys consistently find that environmental problems are not considered among the ten most important issues. Reborayti does not mean that environmental issues do not exist in Argentina, but rather that many factors mediate between society and the environment as a problem, so it comes to the surface only sporadically and in connection with very specific issues.

This separation between society and environmental issues has generated a gap between people’s awareness of their environmental rights and the operation of a notion of justice that would protect them.

As the notion of a formal and necessary environmental justice is not entrenched in Argentine society, people raise environmental concerns by opening up and making explicit environmental conflicts, which constitutes an “informal” environmental justice. Thus, in recent years there have ambkente an increasing number of cases in which different sectors of society have joined forces to vindicate their rights in matters that are clearly rooted in environmental problems.

This paper is intended to embrace these conflicts within the idea of a quest for “environmental justice” that goes beyond the legal aspect and has to do with a social process of learning about rights and how to sustain them.

Environmental justice in Latin America In Latin America it is evident for many that it is not possible to transfer the idea of environmental justice as such must be widened.

Although the general notion of using the term “environmental justice” refers to “a response to perceived injustice, as judged through observations of unreasonable inequality in outcome and lack of fair treatment That is to say, in Latin America, the idea of environmental justice does not necessarily target the problems of racially or economically defined minorities; it tends ambinte identif groups that are defined territorially rather than characterized socially.

It is most typically not a problem of poor distribution of natural resources and their use, but a problem dealing with maldistribution of the negative effects arising from the use of the environment. Possibly, as Williams and Mawdsley state, the problem lies in that the contexts and circumstances in the developed countries and in the Third Word are so different that their channels to access environmental justice are reboraatti necessarily different.

These contexts determine that, in fact, environmental justice is the search for reparation for the injuries resulting from “environmental injustice” that arise from distortions generated in the distribution of income cadlos decision-making capacities by the world economy in the poorest countries Acselrad, This search for environmental justice comes from malfunctions in the political, economic and judicial systems, which leads the population to feel that it is not given consideration in the decisions about actions that could have environmental impact, even in cases where there are regulations in place that should solve these problems.

This becomes more evident in the planning of large investments, whose environmental impact may be limited from a territorial viewpoint, but whose benefits are not deemed worthy by the local population that would have to suffer it.

The solution adopted, what we can call a methodology for the quest for environmental justice, is to explicitly state a conflict through social action. Ultimately, the goal is for informal justice to become formal justice through the activation of the available means in the legal and amhiente system.

In general, in Latin America, this informal environmental justice is achieved or at least sought through ad-hoc organizations that differ from place to place as to their organization, constitution and dynamics. In some cases, they are ephemeral institutions, which disappear once their objective has been fulfilled; in other cases they lead to the creation of formal institutions and institutional networks.

Sometimes they comprise the low-income sector, other times they include middle-income sectors; sometimes they are rural, other times they are urban and deal with very different problems that range from deforestation to industrial pollution.

In this chapter I analyze three cases of environmental conflict that developed in the last fifteen years in Argentina. By there were at least 20 social movements related with environmental issues in Argentina Giarracca,but I will focus on the three that most important cases, which reveal both the diversity of possibilities and, at the same time, a surprising similarity in their objectives, characteristics and development. But first it will be necessary to make a brief reference to the general context of environmental politics in Argentina.

Argentine society and the environment For several reasons, Argentina has not been especially open to the ideas of environmentalism. Although this is a common trait in less developed countries, in this case it is sociedaf contradictory, because the environmental amviente is more rooted in Argentina’s highly developed urban middle class, and the middle class has been an important player and driver in other social, economic and political issues.

In a long list of problems, we could include deforestation, water pollution, erosion, indiscriminate fishing, over- grazing, mining impacts and urban flooding as the most pressing issues Di Pace, ; Morello et al, However, until relatively recently, this list has not been sufficient to cause a reaction by society.

On one hand, successive presidential administrations have had very passive attitudes in the matter. But this reactivation was done thinking about the economic use of ambuente environment rather than about preserving it.

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As the head of the Department the administration appointed a person who reborattii much more interested in doing business deals rrboratti having a high public profile than in building a serious environmental policy.

This person’s subsequent prosecution and imprisonment for embezzlement of public monies only managed to tinge the environmental issue with a patina of frivolity, futility and corruption. In view of this public image, subsequent administrations hid the Department of the Environment behind a tangled bureaucracy from which it has yet to escape. In turn, from a legislative standpoint, a large number of environmental protection laws were passed, beginning with the Argentine Constitution which, after its amendment, guarantees the right to a “healthy environment” and the right to petition before the authorities where this right is violated.

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A level below the Constitution, already by the late s, there were over 4, provisions related to the preservation of nature broadly speaking, to which others were added later about issues as diverse as nuclear energy, fisheries, formation of different levels of environmental authorities and transportation of toxic materials Bertonati and Corcuera, Argentina did not tend to generate environmental movements with the ability to have an impact in society as a whole.

The general trend accompanied that of Latin America in terms of the creation of this kind of institution Christen et al, ; Roberts, ; Price,but it was more focused on what Bryant and Bailey call “professional non-governmental organizations. Though both have a long tradition, they have had relatively little impact beyond their limited area of focus.

The non-governmental environmental organization that has had the most significance has been the Argentine branch of an international NGO: Although their flamboyant actions attract much public notice, Greenpeace’s relatively short and sporadic campaigns have only earned them a modest degree of awareness among the population at large.

In truth, perhaps due to the country’s social structure, Greenpeace gains its support mainly from the urban middle class of Buenos Aires. With this political context in place, I now turn to the justice dimensions of some of Argentina’s most important recent environmental conflicts. A high voltage line in the Quebrada de Humahuaca.

The Quebrada de Humahuaca is deep valley, approximately kilometers long, connecting the temperate agricultural valleys of the Southern Andes with the Argentina- Bolivia border, located in the Altiplano, from 1, to 3, meters above sea level. Approximately 29, people live there, half of whom are located in three main urban centers of under ambjente, residents, with the rest in rural areas.

It is here where we can trace the first environmental conflict related to a spontaneous social action. This search for “environmental justice” started in as a result of the attempt by the province of Jujuy to build a anbiente voltage line through the Quebrada. It was a project of great importance for local standards since large high voltage towers 22 meters high would be set up, every meters reborafti the Quebrada. These would be very conspicuous in such a restricted territory, as described above.

The idea of building a high voltage line to connect the towns close to the Bolivian border with the interconnected power supply socifdad in Argentina was not a new one; the call for bids to build it went back to For various reasons, it was not until that the province awarded the project on the basis of an environmental impact assessment conducted by the construction company.

Socio-environmental Conflict in Argentina | Carlos Reboratti –

When the study was disclosed to the public at large, it was proven to be extremely poor and evidently targeted at merely justifying the project, which is not unusual in these cases1. The news about the project 1 For example, the environmental impact assessment stated that the high voltage line could be installed on the West end of the Quebrada, as the tourists “mainly focus their attention on the Eastern slope.

The residents of the Quebrada de Humahuaca are largely of indigenous origin and, in some towns, immigrants attracted to the local culture, landscape, tourism, and the peaceful lifestyle. The native population was undergoing a euphoric process of recreating their indigenous identity, in line with occurrences in much of the country after the constitutional reform, which had included rdboratti rights of aboriginal peoples among its articles.

Briones, The social mobilization in the Quebrada to oppose the construction of the high voltage line was an odd mixture; the two social sectors that we described came together to build a dense communications network that included articles published in regional and national newspapers and TV shows. Neighborhood ambient, professional associations in reboratfi provincial capital for example, the association reboratri architects and, finally, with certain reluctance, the municipal governments, joined in the movement.

The trigger which sparked the protests was the intention of the construction company to begin works, setting up boundary stones in the southern end of the Quebrada, where the high voltage line would enter towards the north.

A group of j removed a boundary stone in an indigenous ceremony; setting the boundary stone in the ground without ceremonially requesting permission from the Pacha Mama, the regional indigenous deity that represents nature, was considered an intrusion.

Although that was an activity that attracted a lot of carlso, the movement took advantage of a legal weakness in the construction process: However, in this case, the hearing was scheduled by the provincial authorities for rrboratti date that was after commencement soociedad the works.

This clumsy maneuver was thwarted by an avalanche of letters from people wishing to participate in such hearings and by the resonance the issue had with the public.

By mid August, the governor ordered that any activity related to the high-voltage line be suspended. A few months later, an official decree indicated that the works were to be suspended indefinitely, until the issue could be thoroughly examined.

The subsequent declaration of the Quebrada de Humahuaca as a World Heritage site totally ruled out the possibility of any similar work, socieead there was no further attempt to revive it. One of the many interesting aspects of this situation reborattu that the informal quest for environmental justice was conducted without a great physical mobilization. The largest public protest included only a few hundred people, and involved the removal of the boundary stone that the construction company had placed at the site.

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However, there are two very important reborattk in that action. One is that it included diverse segments of society, which indicates a certain capacity of the local identity to bring together carlo that usually develop separate means of expression, organizations and representations. The other is that it brought to light the formal legal system’s flaws in protecting citizens from environmental impact; in this case it was a large infrastructure project.

Although from a legal perspective the province had the necessary mechanisms in place to conduct a serious analysis of the possible impact of building a high voltage line, it chose, possibly driven by the corruption of the provincial administration, to avoid these mechanisms; even going as far as scheduling the public hearing after socledad works were already awarded, approved and in progress.

None of the branches of government seemed to want to participate in the issue: In light of the fact that the access routes to environmental justice were blocked, the local society, without violence, opted for a parallel environmental justice which ended up forcing the Government to reverse its decisions.

We could say that this was the first spontaneous environmental social movement in Argentina, which was at a small scale both due to the limited number of residents involved and due to the size of the project and the construction company a local company. It was quick and efficient in its creation and development, but did not lead to any subsequent institutionalization and dissolved after the initial objective was fulfilled.

Subsequent environmental conflicts and movements would be different. Esquel’s gold mine Around the mid s, Argentina passed a law to promote mining, granting interested companies a series erboratti advantages for mineral prospecting and exploitation. This triggered massive investments, particularly in western Argentina. The growth of mining activity and its environmental impacts brought about ambienge series of conflicts involving legal, political and economic issues.

One of the earliest conflicts, and the one caflos the most widespread coverage at the time, was in the Patagonian Andes, specifically in Esquel, in the west of the province of Chubut.

The weather is cold and wet, and the area is at the limit of the Patagonian cold forests, which have great timber and landscape value. Also of great landscape value are the beautiful Andes lakes. The first important resource activity in Esquel was timber production, but this activity declined when most of the bordering forests were declared national parks. However, this created a new slciedad The original population was the result of European immigration, whose descendants proudly refer to themselves as reborathi a Spanish acronym that stands for “nacidos y criados”; i.

Over time there was additional immigration from the rest of the country, as is so frequently the case in Patagonia.

The mountains of Esquel, at the base of which the city is located, were subject to a mining prospecting survey sinceand in November a consulting firm prepared an investment project for gold mining in a deposit located five kilometers away from the city for Meridian Gold, a Canadian sociddad. The socieadd stated that with an investment of a little over million dollars and a large benefit afterwards, the deposit could be exploited for ten years, with an annual production ofounces of gold.

To reach that figure, almost 20 million tons of rock had to be removed, and two million metric tons of ore had to be ground to extract gold and subsidiary silver, first by gravity and then by cyanide leaching. The project included the use of large quantities of water it was calculated that approximately a quarter of the quantity used by reboatti entire city of Esquel was neededwhich was apparently going to be obtained mainly from the underground aquifers and secondarily from local brooks.

Additionally, the project would employ about workers. The area directly affected would be approximately hectares, as it was an open-pit gold mine.

The mining company had already directly or indirectly appropriatedhectares in the area, within which the gold deposit was located. At first, the project did not cause major unrest among the population, particularly in view of the promise of creating jobs.

Note that Argentina was at that point falling into one of its worst socio-economic crises in history, which reached its peak with the massive demonstrations throughout the country in December and the resignation of the President. However, the visit and public conferences of an expert from Dupont the firm that was going to provide cyanide to the mine in July led to the – probably undesired – effect of generating anxiety among the population.

This anxiety started to take shape when a group of professors of the University of Patagonia based in Esquel began questioning the desirability of the project and made their concerns public, particularly in connection with cyanide pollution, dust from the explosions, the movement of heavy machinery and the use of large quantities of water. By the time the company submitted its environmental impact assessment study to the provincial authorities in October that same year, the issue had become public and the people, spontaneously, began taking to the streets.