Carlos E.C. Freitas (Universidade Federal do Amazonas , Brazil )
James R. Kahn ( Lee University , USA )
Alexandre A.F. Rivas (Universidade Federal do Amazonas , Brazil )
Amazonas; indigenous people; rain forest; sustainable development
Indigenous populations have lived for many generations in a sustainable fashion, developing knowledge about how to live in harmony with the environment. However, the sustainability of their life styles, their quality of life and the maintenance of intact ecosystems are threatened by a series of changes, including incorporation into the general fabric of society, conflict with non-indigenous migrants, expansion of indigenous populations and the globalization of national economies. This paper looks at the potential for policy to deal with these issues. In particular, it is shown that the ‘polluter pays principle’ is not appropriate for indigenous societies. The paper recommends a set of policies and shows how international cooperation in the areas of monitoring and enforcement, augmentation of demand for rain forest products and eco-certification can help indigenous groups improve their quality of life and maintain ecosystems in their current undisturbed state.
(2004) 11 International Journal of Sustainable Development & World Ecology 312-325