Divisão regional do Brasil


  • Fábio de Macedo Soares Guimarães


By order of the Central Directorate of the National Geographic Council, whose chief is Professor Fabio Macedo Soares Guimarães, the Research Department of the S. G. E. F. (Service of Geography and Physiographic Statistics) issued an erudite report on the Regional Division of Brazil, which this review is now publishing.

            He shows at the outset, by means of solid arguments, the imperative necessity of a unity of division with real benefits to Statistics, Administration and Education. Another important necessity is the fixation of the conception of "natural region", whose variety of criteria followed to date he deems to be mainly responsible for the discrepancies and for the great number of divisions already proposed.

            This subject, Conception of Natural Regions, is minutely studied by the author in five interesting items documented in a select bibliography and summarized in conclusions the synthesis of which is: -

            1) "A natural region must be characterized by a conjunction of phenomena correlated amongst themselves, but not by any isolated one, for such a correlation is what gives the region its unity".

            2) "The regions must be few in number and proportionate in extension to the size of the country under consideration".

            3) "The divisions must be clearly defined in the maps avoiding the "zones of transition" which, if important, should be considered as distinct regions".

            4) The characterization should be made according to physical geography phenomena, using the human ones when resulting from the physical environment and as proofs to settle disputes.

            5) There are practical advantages in the division based on "natural regions", specially for statiscal purposes, since they permit comparisons of time, which is not so with "human regions" such as economic ones, very unstable an4 lending themselves more to comparisons in space of one part with another at a given moment.

            He goes on to analyse the division already proposed (see explanatory map "Natural Regions of Brazil according to various authors"). reaching the conclusion, after a critical examination of these divisions, that the best, based on "natural regions", is the one proposed by Professor Delgado de Carvalho, considering the present state of knowledge of our territory. This division is adopted by the Secondary Grade Geography Programs. As to the "economic ones" referred to, according to facts of Human Geography he prefers that established by the Technical Council of Economics and Finances, once the States of Maranhão and Piauí be included in the Northeastern Region.

            He ends by stating that "to the geographer only behoves to furnish the administrator a base for the practical division, which is the exclusive one for administrative purposes, specially statistical". Thus, in view of the instability of the "division" according to the economic criterion. he concludes that "the contribution of geography" is favourab1e to a division based on "natural regions”. that is, those mainly characterized by those phenomena coming under the scope of Physical .Geography.