Ghosts in the Forest: The Moral Ecology of Environmental Governance Toward Poor Farmers in the Brazilian and US Atlantic Forests

  • Scott William Hoefle
Part of the Palgrave Studies in World Environmental History book series (PSWEH)


A comparative approach is used to evaluate the social implications of environmental policy toward poor rural folk in the Atlantic Forests of Brazil and the United States. The objective is to question who benefits from the conservation units of the Appalachians in the United States and the Coastal Mountains in Brazil. Parallel complex processes are identified in biomes with similar past experiences. Initial European colonization occurred in both countries at roughly the same time. Commodity production was undertaken on the coastal plains and highland areas became refuges for poor farmers. During the twentieth century conservation units were set up in mountainous areas and nature enclosures removed the rural poor from the land and replaced them with regenerated forests consumed by middle- and upper-class urban people.



From 1994 to 2018 successive research projects have been funded by the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq—Brazil), the Empresa Brasileira de Pesquisa Agropecuária (EMBRAPA—Brazil) and the Fundação Carlos Chagas de Amparo à Pesquisa no Estado do Rio de Janeiro (FAPERJ).

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Scott William Hoefle
    • 1
  1. 1.Geography DepartmentFederal University of Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil

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