Date of Award

Spring 1998

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Policy Studies - (M.S.)

Department

Humanities and Social Sciences

First Advisor

John Opie

Second Advisor

Norbert Elliot

Third Advisor

David Rothenberg

Abstract

American environmental non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have created and spread in the last decade a particular representation of the Amazon rainforest among the public and policy-makers. This new representation contrasts with earlier American representations of the Amazon in that it has been more responsive to local (Amazon) concerns and agendas. This greater responsiveness is a direct result of strategic coalitions with Brazilian NGOs by must US NGOs. US NGOs may avoid charges of "environmental imperialism" and obtain larger legitimacy in their action in the Amazon by opting for the coalition strategy. However, this option also stresses the differences between two environmental traditions, Noah and South, at the same time that it points out common areas of understanding. The primary sources used in this study are the documents and reports, published (paper pamphlets) and on-line (conferences), produced by the NGOs themselves and interviews with US NCO officers. The thesis analyses the Mahogany Campaign (1991-1997) as an example of a broad coalition between North and South NGOs.

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