Willy Delvalle | Deforestation in the Amazon and ecological intervention | Decolonizing Cartographies | Columbia University | Webinar | 21 April 2023


Photo: Bruno Kelly/Amazônia Real.

2023 MESAAS Graduate Student Conference “Decolonizing Cartographies”, Columbia University

Panel:Troubling Eco-Epistemologies and Imaginations of Futurity in the Anthropocene”

Presentation: Willy Delvalle, Deforestation in the Amazon and (European) ecological intervention: a rupture with the division of the world?

21 April 2023 2pm-4pm EST [20h à 22h (PARIS)]

Register here to attend: https://mesaasgraduateconference.wordpress.com/schedule/

The significant rise in the deforestation of the Brazilian Amazon between 2019 and 2022 raised one of the greatest dilemmas in the international system and potentially one of its most decisive for the existence of nature in all its biodiversity: ecological intervention when the sovereign State over a major ecosystem encourages its destruction. The question of ecological intervention challenges the founding principles of the contemporary international system, notably non-intervention and equal State sovereignty, since intervention implies one State or organisation reduces another State sovereignty, which is a form of Sovereignty inequality. For its defenders, it is the guarantee of the right to live. For its critics, it’s a West-centric new instrument of domination. The case of Brazil under the mandate of President Jair Bolsonaro is emblematic of this deadlock. Faced with consequences for the climate change through the liberation of greenhouse gas emissions due to the fires of deforestation, massive loss of biodiversity in one of the densest areas of species of the world and human rights violations, this environmental destruction promoted by the (Brazilian) Postcolonial State and aimed at exports of natural ‘resources’ towards the Global North and China became an issue of debate at the core of the ratification process debates on the Free-Trade Agreement negotiated between the European Union and Mercosur. European leaders called for a change on Brazilian State environmental management through an expansion of European norms. Thus, our analysis of those interactions identifies a complex panoply of ecological intervention(s), what raises the question of rupture (or continuity) with the international system, structured on the colonial-rooted principle of State Sovereignty. Ecological intervention based on the case of Europe and Brazil on the deforestation of the Amazon could suggest a rupture of the international system principles, as a potential political effect of Environmentalism. A postcolonial analysis points instead towards a continuity of postcolonial international system principles, with the struggle between former Empires and colonies on the determination of the boundaries of State Sovereignty over Natural ‘Resources’. Thus, ecological intervention is not grounded on protecting the environment, but on legitimizing the expansion of global trade and imperialism. This continuity dimension perpetrates environment as a colony stuck between its destroyer, the Postcolonial State (Brazil), and the contributor to such destruction, the former colonial Empires (Europe). For humans, ecological intervention perpetrates the colonial dynamics of the international system, in which the North is thought as a civiliser of the South.






Citer ce billet
Willy Delvalle (2023, 18 avril). Willy Delvalle | Deforestation in the Amazon and ecological intervention | Decolonizing Cartographies | Columbia University | Webinar | 21 April 2023. Animots. Consulté le 27 mai 2024, à l’adresse https://doi.org/10.58079/b74h

Willy Delvalle

Willy Delvalle est doctorant en science politique à l'Ecole normale supérieure-PSL, où il intègre la Chaire Géopolitique du Risque. Il est rédacteur du carnet Animots et journaliste.

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