Brazil's Balancing Act Resources

Brazil and its Economy  

Compendium of readings on Brazil and the economics of climate change and the environment - Additional reading resource list, including both online material and print material.

"Brazil's economy - Five strengths and weaknesses" (Brian Winter, Reuters, 3 Dec 2012)    

United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (16 June 2011) – These principles utilize a “Protect, Respect, and Remedy” framework for businesses in relation to human rights.

Read about how corporate responsibility for human rights plays out in Brazil here (Conectas Human Rights, 8 April 2011)

"Rio+20: why Brazil is a country of contradictions" (Pablo Barras and Alice do Valle, The Guardian, 13 June 2012) – The host of the recent UN Conference on Sustainable Development is no stranger to the ongoing debates and tensions around sustainable development. Although some Brazilian companies have forward-thinking practices in this area, many are lagging behind.

"Businesses Vital to Rio + 20 Success" (Ben Tavener, The Rio Times, 19 June 2012) – Businesses can play an active role in promoting sustainable development and it is often good for their own bottom line.  

"Brazil worries about another energy crisis" (Anthony Boadle, Reuters, 9 Jan 2013) – Climate change is affecting rainfall patterns in Brazil, especially in the northeast.  The current drought in Brazil is making electrical generation from hydropower more difficult. This is bad news for the Brazilian economy, which relies heavily on hydropower for electricity.  The current crisis comes on the heels of a severe drought in 2001 that sparked widespread fires in the Amazon.

Environmental Protection 

"Sustainable Development and Our Responsibilities" (Amartya Sen, Ethical Values in Global Business, 2010) - Discussion of political and economic actions and the responsibilities of actors for environmental sustainability, as well as what that sustainability would look like.

"Hungry For Energy, Brazil Builds Monster Dams In The Amazon" (Juan Forero, NPR, 13 Feb 2013) - Recent inquiry into the building of hydroelectric dams in the Amazon, and what impact they will have on the local environment. 

"Deforestation appears to rise again in Brazil’s Amazon" (Paulo Prada, Reuters, 24 Jan 2013) – Deforestation of the Amazon is accelerating despite promises from the government and outside organizations to slow the rate of deforestation.  Satellites now play a key role in evaluating the extent of the damage.

"Norway to pay Brazil $180 million for slowing deforestation" (Reuters, 6 Dec 2012) – Norway will pay $180 million to the Brazilian government in an effort to protect ecosystem services, indigenous people, and biodiversity.  People and countries around the world have a stake in the world’s largest rainforest.    

Indigenous Rights 

Compendium of articles and resources related to indigenous rights - compiled by panelist Professor Cristina Espinosa.

"Desafios aos direitos humanos no Brasil contemporâneo" - "Human Rights Challenges in Contemporary Brazil" (Co-Edited by Biorn Maybury-Lewis and Sonia Ranincheski, 2011); in Portuguese.

"The Unique Rights of Indigenous Peoples" (Dinah Shelton, Think Africa Press, 12 Nov 2012) – Chair of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Dinah Shelton gives some historical background on the concept of indigenous rights and how claims to these rights have been addressed in Africa and the Americas. She concludes that the term “sustainable development” reflects the triad of interests that must be taken into account by governments and international organizations. Not a single one of the three goals – environmental protection, economic development and respect for human rights – can be achieved without consideration for the other two.  

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (13 Sep 2007) – Adopted in 2007, this non-binding declaration represents the first formal articulation of these rights and the responsibility of states to respect them.

"Rio + 20: Anchor sustainable development in human rights" (Amnesty International, 12 June 2012) – Amnesty International declares that economic development initiatives that do not incorporate human rights obligations and principles can deepen marginalization, discrimination, and injustice.  

"Greens Distort Indigenous Rights to Block Brazil's Sustainable Development" (World Growth, PR Newswire, 17 June 2012) – Pro-business leaders claim that efforts to protect indigenous rights will deter investment and impede sustainable development in Brazil.

"Development puts indigenous peoples at risk" (Marco Sibaja, Associated Press, 10 June 2012) – Indigenous people are consistently pushed aside in the quest for development.  This is illustrated in the negotiations leading up to and the initial construction of the giant Belo Monte Dam in the Amazon.