Territorial and Enviromental Dynamics

Studies on the environmental and territorial dynamics, from the Brazilian Northeast, characterized substrate of action and research of the Professors of the Postgraduate Program in Geography at the Universidade Federal do Ceará (UFC). The singularities of the coastal formations, on the northern border, inland in the vast southern arc having as reference the territory of the state of Ceará, allow the composition of a wide and articulated range of open investigations to dialogue with scenic views of "Sertão".

The "Sertão" is the environmental and territorial transformations that colors the northeastern imaginary in accordance with the direct representations along the drought and the aridness of the Brazilian northeastern badland. This picture features the semiarid region of the Brazilian Northeast, from colonial period until the first half of the twentieth century, as a domain deprived of "coastal measurements", which were predominant in the occupation of other regions.

The "Sertão" was the image of a society victimized by drought, by migration and poverty. The Brazilian badland setting was related to the activities of the extensive agricultural cycles, so it contrasted with the coastal zone of restricted occupation and rarefied housing, which had fishing and subsistence agriculture as main activities. Few cities were directed to port activities, responsible for the flow of regional production and reception of industrialized goods from other states and countries. In the last quarter of the twentieth century, there is a change of mentality that favors the transformation of the image and the possibilities of the semi-arid northeast, and the articulation of the binomial Coast and Badland.

The forms of contemporary modernization interconnected challenges of democratic management of the institutions with environmental regulations, tourist demands, changes in agriculture and rapid urbanization. The geographical reality of Ceará diversifies and expands links with other Brazilian and international realities.

It gives, for example, the strengthening of public policies focused on tourism activities (PRODETUR-NE), agribusiness (hydro dams and canals interconnection), social (regionalized multinational projects, with neoliberal or developmentalist cut). The action of the government is given through the construction of major road works (roads, railways, ports and airports) the development and implementation of policies aimed at tourism, industrialization, agricultural modernization and attracting groups from the Brazilian South Central region and other countries. Through tax incentives, this have been changing the organization ans structure of the northeastern space.

The implementation of these activities, both on the coast and in thebadland, has interfered with the natural and social dynamics, generating environmental, social and economical significant impacts. They cause deforestation, soil depletion, desertification, pollution of water resources. Raise the redistribution of rural population, migration to urban areas and slums, not only to the large but also to the medium-sized cities. Intensify the conflict in the countryside, and unemployment and violence in urban areas.
Unfortunately, the growth raised has not been enough to overcome the Brazilian situation of social and economic inequality; nor lessen the impact caused on the natural geosystems. And this emergence of conflicts and structural rearrangements of the semi-arid northeastern reality broadens the focus to think spatial correspondences with other Brazilian regional realities (The "Sertões" Cerrado, Coastal South-Central, the great American southern border, Amazon, of the urban centers and peripheries) and world (Within America and beyond the Atlantic).

With that academic partnerships are forged open to interchanges of academic analysis and to prepare ground for innovative epistemological concepts and for Geography studies that are apparently "regional", but, in fact, are drawn to local and global scales with integral perspective.

Through research, academic papers, reports and technical advices, the Postgraduate Program in Geography has renewed forms of monitoring these interventions in the northeastern territory; as it justifies, not only the consolidation of the area of concentration of Environmental and Territorial Dynamics, as the normative reconstruction of its lines of research: Socio-environmental studies and socio-territorial studies, pointing to diversification of related thematic areas.