UBC Graduate Research

The Human-Rainforest Gradient : Reclaiming Local Nature in Brazilian Amazon Culture. Nozaki, Tatiana


A divide prevails in the Brazilian Amazon’s most deforested area known as the “Deforestation Arc”. It separates humans from nature, wild from civilized. This divide, expressed as a single spatial manifestation, an edge between rainforest and human inhabited spaces, is perpetuated by attitudes towards local ecologies, local and global economies, and political governance. The divide grows sharper and more defined with deforestation, fires, and agriculture, continuing to threaten biodiversity, fuel armed conflicts between stakeholders, and exacerbate desertification and land degradation. The Human-Rainforest Gradient seeks to reclaim the presence of local ecologies in this contested landscape. By carving away at binary relationships with the rainforest that still frame it as uncivilized and wild, this thesis proposes a wider gradient of human-rainforest interface. The absence of local ecologies in public schools throughout the “Deforestation Arc” is a microcosm of the nature-culture divide. As such, it provides an opportunity to disrupt the divide during young Brazilians’ formative developmental years. In this project, children are agents of bottom-up change by upcycling new relationships with local ecologies and interrelated social practices with their surroundings.

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