Brazilian Foundation for the Conservation of Nature

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Brazilian Foundation for the Conservation of Nature

"The origin of the Brazilian environmental activism was a conservationist group. This pioneering association was the FBCN (Brazilian Foundation for the Conservation of Nature), founded in 1958 in Rio de Janeiro, the capital of the country at the time. The majority of its members had a background in scientific disciplines, especially agronomy, agricultural engineering and natural sciences and got involved on environmental issues for professional reasons. Many were civil servants who maintained ties with the Brazilian political elite. This closeness to the state made them more inclined to lobbying instead of public demonstrations as a strategy for mobilisation. The fact that they were employees of the state made them work as an interest group, seeking to directly influence state decisions, without buildings alliances with parties or social movements. Before and during the military regime, this strategy was very successful: the FBCN influenced the creation of laws, structures and environmental policies, and its members rose to important positions in the area. The careers of FBCN’s members were intermingled with the setting up of Brazil’s own environmental bureaucracy, giving the FBCN an appearance of a parallel governmental organisation until the 1970s." [1]

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