Mapping research on hydropower and sustainability in the Brazilian Amazon: Advances, gaps in knowledge and future directions

Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability
By: , and 

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Abstract

In the last twenty years, multiple large and small hydroelectric dams have begun to transform the Amazonian region, spawning a growing volume of academic research across diverse disciplinary and interdisciplinary fields. In this article, we offer a critical review of recent research related to hydropower and sustainability with a focus on the Brazilian Amazon. We revisit the sustainability concept to include the contribution of various knowledge fields and perspectives for understanding, managing and making decisions about social-ecological systems transformed by dams. We conducted a literature review in Web of Science of academic publications centered in the past 5 years (2014–2019), on diverse aspects of hydropower planning, construction, operation and monitoring in the Brazilian Amazon. We present results of a co-occurrence network analysis of publications, highlighting bridging fields, network disconnections, and opportunities for interdisciplinary research. Finally, we report recent advances in the understanding and management of social-ecological systems in Amazonian watersheds, including biophysical, socio-economic, governance and development processes linked to hydropower planning and implementation. This review identifies knowledge gaps and future research directions, highlighting opportunities for improved communication among scientists, practitioners, decision-makers, indigenous peoples and local communities.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Mapping research on hydropower and sustainability in the Brazilian Amazon: Advances, gaps in knowledge and future directions
Series title Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability
DOI 10.1016/j.cosust.2019.06.004
Volume 37
Year Published 2019
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Southwest Biological Science Center
Description 20 p.
First page 50
Last page 69
Country Brazil
Other Geospatial Amazon