Rebeca Macias Gimenez

Rebeca  Macias Gimenez
2017-2020 Graduate Student Fellow
Area of expertise


Rebeca Macias Gimenez is a PhD candidate at the University of Victoria Faculty of Law. She is affiliated with the Water, Innovation, and Global Governance Lab, at the Centre for Global Studies, and a graduate student fellow with the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI).

Rebeca has an LL.M from the University of Calgary and Bachelor degree from the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil. Rebeca’s research interest focuses on environmental decision-making about energy infrastructure projects and on ways to address adverse effects on Indigenous communities. Through her PhD dissertation, entitled “Searching for Equitable Treatment in Environmental Impact Assessment of Hydropower Projects”, she examines the environmental injustices towards Indigenous peoples caused by the dismissal of their worldviews, and their complex relationship with the land, in environmental decisions about infrastructure projects.

This research project has a community-centered focus, seeking insights from Indigenous community members whether environmental impact assessment of and decision-making about hydropower dams could better integrate cultural and ecological concerns of Indigenous peoples. She is interested in making visible the nuanced adverse effects of infrastructure projects on Indigenous peoples’ ways of life – impacts on sacred lands, fishing, hunting, and trapping practices. She applies an environmental justice approach to evaluate environmental impact assessment processes; investigating whether and to what extent they can promote equitable treatment of Indigenous peoples in environmental decision-making. The research is conducted through a comparative case study analysis of two large hydropower projects, one from Canada, BC (Site C dam) and the other from the Brazilian Amazon, Pará (Belo Monte dam).