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An international partnership for innovative cybercartographic development: SPRINT training exchange project

Grant number: 19/08908-8
Support type:Regular Research Grants
Duration: September 01, 2019 - February 28, 2023
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Geography - Human Geography
Cooperation agreement: Carleton University
Mobility Program: SPRINT - Projetos de pesquisa - Mobilidade
Principal researcher:Reinaldo Paul Pérez Machado
Grantee:Reinaldo Paul Pérez Machado
Principal researcher abroad: D R Fraser Taylor
Institution abroad: Carleton University, Canada
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Assoc. researchers:Pablo Luíz Maia Nepomuceno


For a long time Lenc'ois Maranhenses have been calling attention for being a region of extreme contrasts, not only under the physical-geographical and climatic point-of-view, but also because of the great contradictions and social conflicts that can be found there. A big part of the territory has been officially declared a National Park on June 2nd, 1981 (BRASIL, 1981), although the Region of Lenc'ois and Pequenos Lenc'ois (Little Lenc'ois) extends beyond the area protected by the National Park (TSUJI, 2002). Communities established inside the National Park are supplied with electricity, while others, just a few kilometers away; lack this resource, even being located within the official perimeter (SOUZA, 2007). The consequences of these expressions of spatial injustice can be considered terrible: severe health problems, serious conflicts between tourism activities and the traditional ways of production, among others. The region has never been object of a multidisciplinary and organized study in the form of an atlas, in spite of being very popular and attractive under the touristic point-of- view. For this reason, the research intends to elaborate the Social-Environmental Atlas of Lenc'ois Maranhenses in its wholeness, and, in a later stage, proceed with its publication in paper and digital form. This atlas will have about 200 pages and, initially, 13 sections have been defined. In view of its thematic and territorial content, it can be classified in the category of special regional atlas (SALITCHEV, 1979). Therefore, the proposed atlas will focus not only on the National Park but also on its surroundings. Thus, we intend to study all the geographical space, categories of land use and forms of occupation by society as a whole, with emphasis on the communities which dwell in the area. This region is characterized by an environment unfit for most farming crops, not only because of its sandy soil, but also because of moving dunes and of the hydric regime, sometimes with rain in excess, other times with long drought periods. All these factors, associated to the difficult access to the area, contribute to a most vulnerable population, causing an obvious influence on their ways of life. Nevertheless, people who live there have found ways to produce and provide for themselves. Fishing and fruit collecting, vegetal fibers and other natural products are among the usual sustenance activities. Many turn to breed small herds of goat, sheep and cattle, or work little parcels of land; they may also devote themselves to craftsmanship and various activities related directly or indirectly to tourism. Therefore, we feel that the use of the methodology called Cybercartography (Taylor, 2005) will help us to understand the flows and habits in this region, thus contributing to improve the life quality of local communities. The main objective is to undertake the work with the methodology proposed, to incorporate and encourage participation not only of the academic-scientific sector, but also of managers and local population, especially those who live within Lenc'ois Maranhenses and its area of influence. Thus, this methodological research may be applied to other places in Brazil, for example, with Indigenous population, communities of "quilombolas" (descendants of former slaves), "caic'aras" (sea shoreline population) and others. (AU)

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