25. Environmental History of Modern Latin America

  1. Thomas H. Holloway Professor of History President Executive Secretary of CLAH
  1. Lise Sedrez Assistant Professor

Published Online: 21 MAR 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781444391633.ch25

A Companion to Latin American History

A Companion to Latin American History

How to Cite

Sedrez, L. (2010) Environmental History of Modern Latin America, in A Companion to Latin American History (ed T. H. Holloway), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444391633.ch25

Editor Information

  1. University of California at Davis, USA

Author Information

  1. History at California State University, Long Beach, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 21 MAR 2011
  2. Published Print: 29 NOV 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405131612

Online ISBN: 9781444391633



  • environmental history of modern Latin America;
  • Iberian conquests, of sixteenth century - “the Columbian exchange”;
  • landscapes in Latin America - transformed on a newly expanded scale;
  • transformation of nature in Latin America - patterns established in colonial times, by large plantations and monoculture;
  • cities in Latin America - generating their own urban environmental dilemmas;
  • mapping Latin America's ecology;
  • the Amazon, world's largest remaining tropical rainforest - dominant feature in Latin American environmental map;
  • urbanization, slowed during disruption of independence - political strife and economic stagnation;
  • water – or drought – important factor in occupation - of Latin America's territory;
  • climate patterns, suffering continuous slow alteration - by human action, deforestation, resource extraction and pollution


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Mapping Latin America's Ecology

  • Forests and Agriculture

  • Urbanization

  • Modern Agriculture and Biotechnology

  • Mineral Resources

  • Water Resources

  • Epidemics and Environmental Change

  • Droughts, Floods, and Earthquakes: Redefining Natural Disasters

  • Environmentalism in Latin America

  • Conclusion

  • bibliography