Deforestation in the Amazon and (European) ecological intervention: A rupture with the division of the world? - ENS - École normale supérieure Accéder directement au contenu
Communication Dans Un Congrès Année : 2023

Deforestation in the Amazon and (European) ecological intervention: A rupture with the division of the world?


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.
Presentation-DELVALLE (1).pdf (3.39 Mo) Télécharger le fichier
Presentation-DELVALLE.pdf (3.39 Mo) Télécharger le fichier
Origine Fichiers produits par l'(les) auteur(s)

Dates et versions

hal-04091394 , version 1 (08-05-2023)



  • HAL Id : hal-04091394 , version 1


Willy Delvalle. Deforestation in the Amazon and (European) ecological intervention: A rupture with the division of the world?. MESAAS Graduate Student Conference 2023: Decolonizing Cartographies, Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies; Columbia University, Apr 2023, Webconference, United States. ⟨hal-04091394⟩
44 Consultations
29 Téléchargements


Gmail Mastodon Facebook X LinkedIn More