Winds of Change: Conflict, Culture and Sustainability in the Cumbe Community

Jacobo Ramirez, Adryane Gorayeb, João Luís Joventino do Nascimento

Research output: Other contributionTeaching case

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In northeastern Brazil, in Aracati municipality of Ceará state, lies the quilombo1 community of Cumbe. The arrival of wind energy brought promises of economic development and a path towards a sustainable future to this community. However, it also precipitated complex disputes over land rights, cultural heritage, and the broader impact on the local communities’ sustainable development. Such tensions were notably evident surrounding the construction of wind farms in Cumbe’s sand dunes, where several archaeological sites were destroyed to build three wind farms in 2007–2009, which came into operation in 2010. As a form of reparation for the destruction of these archaeological sites, the company responsible for the wind farms built a museum within the Cumbe community to showcase some of the artifacts discovered during the development. Ironically, this mitigation strategy further polarized families within the community of Cumbe.

This case explores the intertwined realms of socio-economic impacts, environmental stewardship, cultural preservation efforts, and community responses to the wind farms in Cumbe, and aims to portray the varied perspectives on sustainable development, equitable resource distribution, and heritage conservation in the community’s continuous struggle against cultural and ecological erosion. The case was developed based on interviews conducted with the residents of Cumbe, internal documents provided by the interviewees, and publicly available documents from companies and the Brazilian government.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2023
Place of PublicationFrederiksberg
PublisherCopenhagen Business School, CBS
Number of pages29
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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