English Environmental Studies

My Academic Publications and Scientific Presentations in 2020

2020 was a challenging year for everyone. However, that year was remarkable for my career and academic paths. In 2020, one of my articles got published in an international journal, and I presented my research in important sociological conferences.


“An Intersection of Environmental Risks, Migration and Social Vulnerability: a case study of the Philippines”. Daxiyangguo – Revista Portuguesa de Estudos Asiáticos (Portuguese Journal of Asian Studies), no. 24 (2019): 47-72 – Orient Institute – Institute of Social and Political Studies: University of Lisbon (Universidade de Lisboa) (link)

According to the World Risk Report 2020, developed by the United Nations University Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), the Philippines is one of the most natural hazard-prone countries in the world. And even though it is currently one of Asia’s fastest-growing economies, the Philippines faces several social problems.

How does this dynamic between human mobility, social inequality and environmental disasters work in the Philippines? Do the environmental disasters in rural areas (whose economy usually depends solely on agriculture) affect rural-urban migration? And how does the high population density of the metropolises in the Philippines make the country even more prone to environmental disasters?

I started collecting data for my research in 2018, thanks to the networking I build with sociologists and environmentalists from the Philippines. I focused on sources in English and Tagalog, as well as government statistics and the Philippine government’s open data.

I am still researching the effects of environmental disasters on human mobility in the Philippines. This year (in February), I will present further results at the IV International Sociological Association Forum of Sociology.

Daxiyangguo – Revista Portuguesa de Estudos Asiáticos (Portuguese Journal of Asian Studies) is published annually since 2002 by the Orient Institute (Instituto do Oriente) of the University of Lisbon (Universidade de Lisboa) and features high-quality papers contributed by renowned scholars from around the world.

“O Olhar Holístico do Direito sob o Estudo dos Desastres: e qual a relação deles com a resiliência fiscal de países”, JOTA (link)

Have you ever wondered how a country can enhance fiscal resilience to environmental risks? Which roles taxation plays in disaster relief and recovery plans? In May 2020, I wrote on JOTA (the most popular website for legal discussions in Brazil) about how we can adopt interdisciplinary approaches on disaster risk reduction studies (based on law, sociology and economy), direct and indirect impacts from disasters.

“Vulnerabilidad social y desastres en Brasil: una intersección necesaria entre derecho y sociología”, Portal Pólemos – Pontifical Catholic University of Peru, Law School (link)

Although Brazil has a low level of exposure to disasters, socioeconomic issues make its population substantially vulnerable to them. Additionally, Brazil’s legal framework for reducing disaster risk barely mentions the intersection of social problems and natural hazards. In my essay to the Portal Pólemos, I illustrate possible contributions of the Sociology of Disaster for future legislations and public policy decision-making.

“Meio ambiente no âmbito laboral e o seguro acidente de trabalho: um estudo comparado entre Brasil e Japão”, Revista de Direito Previdenciário, v. 10, n. 56 apr./may. (2020): 131-153

This publication is the result of my first research on social security system in Japan, the investigation of which began in 2018, during my specialization degree in taxation. Through selected bibliography of Portuguese, Japanese and English language sources on Brazilian Law and Japanese Law, I researched the need for a connection between Environmental Law and Social Security Law (or Direito Previdenciário, as we call it in Brazil) to regulate legal problems related to workplace accidents and employers’ liability.

My scientific article is available at the Supremo Tribunal Federal (the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court) library and the Superior Tribunal de Justiça (Superior Court of Justice) library.

The Revista Brasileira de Direito Previdenciário was established in 2011. It is the most prestigious scientific journal on social security in Brazil.


“Natural Disasters or Disasters? An Analysis of the Concept of Disaster in Three International Frameworks for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR)”, Philippine Sociological Society: Annual National Conference

The lack of disaster risk governance, social inequalities and climate change are increasing environmental disasters in several regions, especially in developing countries. The debates around disaster risk reduction should no longer include the expression “natural disaster” as natural hazards and social issues are the factors that shape disasters.

As part of my studies on disaster risk reduction, I investigated how the definition of disasters evolved since the 1994 First World Conference on Natural Disasters in Yokohama. Thus, I discussed how it shaped the international community’s responses to disasters until the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015 (and more recently the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030). After the definition of natural disasters, most of the international organizations are emphasizing disasters as social construction and phenomena.

A curiosity: due to the time difference between Brazil and Philippines, my presentation was at 4:00 AM (Brasília time)!

“Humanitarian Visa and Environmentally Induced Population Displacement: Brazil’s and New Zealand’s responses”, Sociological Association of New Zealand: The Isolation Edition

Which term is the correct when we are debating environmental displaced persons? Climate / environmental refugees? Perhaps environmental migrants? Or environmental displaced populations? There is no agreed definition in the international community and among researchers. In parallel, the governments of Brazil and New Zealand are already discussing public policies and legislations toward environmentally displaced persons (especially from Haiti and the Pacific Islands).

My presentation is part of an investigation on governance for environmentally displaced populations in Central America, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. I presented my research findings on the Brazil’s responses to the arrival of Haitians after the 2010 earthquake. Moreover, I discussed New Zealand’s plans to address climate change displacement in the Pacific Islands, especially Kiribati and Tuvalu.

About Luiz G.

Luiz Guilherme Natalio de Mello is a Brazilian Data Analyst and Researcher working on the intersection of technology, social, and environmental issues. He's currently pursuing a Master's Degree in Public Policy and Management at the University of Lisbon and always learning a new foreign language (right now, French).

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