Inclusion in sugarcane ethanol expansion: Perceptions of local stakeholders in the Brazilian context

Andreia Marques Postal

Research output: ThesisDissertation (TU Delft)

178 Downloads (Pure)


The global search for alternative energies has put Brazil's sugarcane at the centre of the debate about the pros and cons of first-generation bioenergy as a supplier of global needs for cleaner energy. In fact, the already mature and structured sugar cane sector attracted important investments for its expansion. However, this led to global concerns about its social and environmental impact that soon became important planning criteria in the transition strategy to the bioeconomy. After all, the bioeconomy is intended to contribute to social development that is responsible for current and future generations.
However, the debate about the impact of Brazil’s sugarcane was based on one hand on highly aggregated data and generalizations on the impacts of different raw materials, and on the other hand, on case studies with limited number of respondents, which conclusions are unable to reflect the whole sector. According to some authors, the low representation of local communities in the process of expansion impaired the otherwise positive impacts, especially for poverty reduction and social development. In order to identify whether the desired inclusion for sustainable development actually took place, we need an in-depth, broad and inclusive analysis of the most impacted actors, which were the communities surrounding the new plants being built. To fill this gap, this research was set-up to understand, value, systematize and incorporate local perceptions regarding the impact of sugar cane expansion areas. For this, literature review and analysis of secondary data are used as methodologies to support the content analysis of the interviews generated in expansion regions of 5 states in the Centre-South of Brazil, the main sugarcane expansion region in the country.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Delft University of Technology
  • Osseweijer, P., Supervisor
  • Da Silveira, J.M.F.J., Supervisor, External person
  • Asveld, L., Advisor
Award date8 Mar 2021
Print ISBNs978-94-6419-170-7
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Cite this