Accepted paper:

Socio-environmental vulnerability among traditional populations in the bay of Todos os Santos, Bahia, Brazil


Carlos Caroso (Universidade Federal da Bahia)
Fátima Tavares (Universidade Federal da Bahia)

Paper short abstract:

This paper discusses how climate change, economic growth, urban expansion and modernization affect traditional populations, increasing socioenvironmental vulnerability and risk of various forms of territorial and sociocultural displacement.

Paper long abstract:

The proposed paper will present the ongoing results of a transdisciplinary research in the area of the Baía de Todos os Santos, in the State of Bahia, Brazil, for which we have taken the idea of vulnerability as the core analytical concept. From our point of view, the vulnerability of a population cannot be understood through dualistic presuppositions which value tradition and change. By this we mean that it is not the case of evaluating major or minor acceptance or resistance to change, or, as its reverse, aprioristically considering certain transformations as positive, because they have modernizing characteristics of "social promotion" or "social equity", and the like. We understand vulnerability as the major or minor capacity of self-management of those populations affected by the processes of modernization, which will occur when exogenous transformations "turn into" endogenous transformations. For supporting our arguments we have taken for analysis five main axis of research: 1) the conditions of the traditional populations and their complex relations with the natural environment (climate changes and increase in seawater temperature, erosion of beaches, reduction of water resources and their increasing contamination, the effect over natural resources and economic activities, population displacement ); 2) the territory and legal rights (presence of various maroon groups who have not had their rights to land and territory recognized, landless agriculturalists, and traditional fishermen); 3) the social networks and how they are articulated; 4) the cultural heritage (material and immaterial culture); 5) the socioenvironmental impacts of large public and private constructions works.

panel PE43
Averting a global environmental collapse: the role of anthropology and local knowledge (WCAA panel)