Headline: Brazil: Strengthening Resilience in Times of Crisis

Brazil is facing considerable social and environmental challenges. A group of researchers at the IASS is casting a spotlight on sustainable development and democratic change.

With 200 million citizens of diverse ethnicities, Brazil is the largest and most populous nation in Latin America. Brazil is also home to most of world’s largest rainforest: the Amazon. The Brazilian economy is the ninth-largest in the world but has languished in recent years and the country’s future appears increasingly uncertain. Despite the size of its economy, Brazil remains one of the most unequal countries on the planet (World Bank, 2020).

Not that long ago Brazil was an influential player in the international environmental landscape but its positive image has been called into question in the past years (Amaral, 2020). Over the last decade, many Brazilian institutions suffered setbacks as a result of political instability and changes in the country’s social-environmental agenda. During this time, Brazil has faced multiple challenges, including skyrocketing deforestation, mining disasters, biodiversity loss, and more. The specific characteristics of the Brazilian case make it an important focus of study and offer opportunities for debates addressing challenges faced by countries and communities around the world.

Deforestation clears the way for new rubber and oil palm plantations.
Deforestation clears the way for new rubber and oil palm plantations. Shutterstock/Richard Whitcombe

A group of researchers at the IASS is casting a spotlight on sustainable development and democratic change in Brazil. The group “Brazil in Focus” serves as a space at the IASS for dialogue relating to contemporary issues affecting Brazilian society and Brazil's role in the world, with the goal of proposing new models of sustainable transformation. The researchers share the view that the current political situation in Brazil requires the input of society to support the development of socio-environmental solutions. Reflecting the diverse research agendas of its members, “Brazil in Focus” explores challenges around the implementation of sustainable transitions in Brazil from a holistic perspective and reflects critically on the future of development and global cooperation. Drawing on different fields of expertise within the group and across the IASS, “Brazil in Focus” aims to offer new insights into the socio-political transformations unfolding in Brazil during a period of heightened global upheaval.

For further information please contact the group at: brazil@iass-potsdam.de

Portfolio – CVs

  • Artur Sgambatti Monteiro: Associate Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS), Potsdam. Holder of the International Climate Protection Fellowship of the Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung. Artur studies the influence of the third sector and international cooperation on Amazon rainforest conservation
  • Carlos Rittl: Senior Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Sustainability (IASS) Potsdam. His research at the institute focuses primarily on the conditions that could hold Brazil accountable to the commitments included in the trade and sustainable development chapter of the EU-Mercosur Trade Agreement. Prior to the commencement of his fellowship, Carlos served for more than 6 years as executive secretary for the Brazilian Climate Observatory, a network comprising 52 civil society organizations. Carlos is an advisory board member of 4 Brazilian organizations: A Drop in the Ocean, Casa Socioenvironmental Fund, Friends of the Earth-Brazilian Amazon and ICLEI (Local Governments for Sustainability). Carlos Rittl is also an associate founding member of two other organizations: Brazilian Climate Center and Climate Observatory Lab.
  • Flávio Lira: Adjunct Professor of International Relations at the Federal University of the Pampas in Brazil and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung post-doc fellow at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS), Potsdam. His main research interests are: Brazilian energy policymaking, sustainable policymaking in times of democratic deficit, Russian foreign policy and energy geopolitics, and the geopolitics of traditional and non-traditional energy resources. At the IASS he is currently researching Brazil's renewable energy policymaking under the presidency of Jair Bolsonaro and its impact on relations between Brazil and Germany.
  • Inaiê Santos: Climate Protection Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, including a residency at the IASS between April 2018 and February 2019. Inaiê holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from University of São Paulo and gained her MSc at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro with a dissertation on regulatory adaption in the biofuels industry. Before joining the IASS, she worked as a researcher at Fundação Getulio Vargas in projects that supported the development of climate policy instruments with different government organizations in Brazil.
  • Karina Marzano: Associate Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS), Potsdam. PhD candidate at the Willy Brandt School of Public Policy at the University of Erfurt and scholarship holder of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS). Karina´s research lies at the intersection between climate and trade. Her PhD project centres on Private Environmental Governance and the Global South.
  • Maila Guilhon
  • Maria Cecília de Oliveira: holds a PhD in international relations from the Catholic University of Sao Paulo and her research areas are democracy, governmentality, development, climate, security and critical studies. At the IASS she leads a research project for climate studies in the Amazon region and the research group Democratic Re-Configurations of Sustainability Transformations.
  • Nicole de Paula: Klaus Töpfer Sustainability Fellow at the IASS. Nicole holds a PhD in International Relations from Sciences Po Paris. She is the founder of Women Leaders for Planetary Health and co-founder of an interdisciplinary research group on Planetary Health at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. She is currently the review editor for the journal Frontiers in Public Health (Planetary Health) and for the Brazilian Journal of International Politics.