The Paradox Of Sustainable Development

2214 Words Jul 31st, 2014 9 Pages
The Paradox of Sustainable Development in Southern Bahia
While driving through the Atlantic Forest in Bahia, everywhere one looked it was green. I could not get over how much green there was. Unfortunately, only 7% of the original forest here remains today (Hance). The rapid growth of the cocoa economy combined with unsustainable practices led to this rapid decline. Agriculture still plays a major role in this region and will continue to impact the Atlantic Forest ecosystem unless more sustainable measures are put into place. There are numerous groups responsible for the direction of development in this region; however, a special emphasis needs to be placed on the role of social divisions and inequality. Presently and into the future,
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While the Brundtland Commission’s definition remains ambiguous, it encompasses the two key components necessary to maintaining the integrity of the Atlantic Forest and to continuing positive development in the region. For this reason, the Brundtland Commission’s definition of sustainable development will be used to evaluate how social classes affect sustainable development in the Atlantic Forest.
Now that the concept of sustainable development has been defined, it must be understood how these different social classes in the region were established. In 1746, cocoa was introduced to Bahia for the first time. Cocoa grew well in Southern Bahia due to the hot, humid climate. In the late 19th Century, European and American wealth increased due to industrialization. This wealth then bolstered demand for luxurious products such as chocolate, which resulted in the cocoa economy taking off in Bahia. This boom attracted numerous people to the Atlantic Forest to start their own cocoa plantations (Caldas and Perz 149). However, as cocoa became an important export commodity, large plantations that could meet the market demand replaced smaller farms. This shift allowed for the majority of the region’s land to be concentrated among a few

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