Assessing discursive practices associated with Terra Preta governance in Amazonas state, Brazil

In recent decades the research of Terra Preta de Indio or Amazonian Dark Earths (ADE) has contributed to the present understanding about the Amazon. These contributions include the conceptualizations of the Amazon forest and soils as socially constructed by complex ancient civilizations. This concept challenges previous beliefs about the Amazon forest being an intact relict uninhabited for the last thousands of years. At present these soils even promise contributions to solutions to climate change, unsustainable agriculture and deforestation. In spite of their apparent benefits to communities and the environment, their socio‚Äźpolitical aspects have never been studied. The main objective of this study is to investigate ADE discursive practices and the possible implications for the use of these soils and for the conservation of the Amazon. Using an interpretative approach the research investigates the relation between such practices at different levels, and analyses how current discursive practices regarding TP governance and knowledge constrain and enable its conservation and sustainable use.