During the past three decades, the Pisque watershed in Ecuador's Northern Andes has become the country's principal export-roses producing area. Recently, a new boom of local smallholders have established small rose greenhouses and joined the flower-export business. This has intensified water scarcity and material/discursive conflicts over water use priorities: water to defend local-national food sovereignty or production for export.
This study estimates the willingness to pay (WTP) of Loja’s households to protect two micro-basins that supply over 40 percent of potable water to the city. Results indicate that households have an average WTP of $5.80 per month, which corresponds to a 25 percent increase in the self-reported monthly water bill, to preserve the basins.
Through an examination of interventions in the agrarian structures and rural society of the Ecuadorian Andes over the past 40 years, this article explores the gradual imposition of a particular line of action that separates rural development from the unresolved question of the concentration of land ownership and wealth among the very few. This imposition has been the consequence, it is argued, of the new development paradigms implemented in Andean peasant communities since the end of land reform in the 1970s.
The Andes of Ecuador are known for their outstanding biodiversity but also as the region with the highest deforestation rate in South America. This process is accompanied by accelerating degradation and loss of environmental services. Despite an extraordinary richness in native tree diversity, more than 90% of all forest plantations established in Ecuador consist of exotic species, primarily Eucalyptus spp. and Pinus spp. This is mainly due to the lack of information about the autecological and synecological requirements of the native species.
Many tropical wetlands threatened by land use changes, or modifications in hydrological regime require effective management policies and implementation to protect them. The Abras de Mantequilla wetland, located in the Guayas River Basin in Ecuador, is subject to two major environmental disturbances, i.e., short-term agriculture (rice, maize) on the land around the wetland and the effects of planned infrastructure works of the Baba dam in the upper catchment. Both activities are expected to be the main constraints for the future wetland health.
During the last decade, forest certification has gained momentum as a market-based conservation strategy in tropical forest countries. Certification has been promoted to enhance forest management in countries where governance capacities are insufficient to adequately manage natural resources and enforce pertinent regulations, given that certification relies largely on non-governmental organisations and private businesses. However, at present there are few tropical countries with large areas of certified forests.
Many tropical landscapes are today characterized by small forest patches embedded in an agricultural mosaic matrix. In such highly fragmented landscapes, agroforests have already been recognized as refuges for biodiversity but few studies have investigated the potential of non-forested land-use types to contribute to overall biodiversity of functionally important taxa in the tropics.
This study conducts a gender analysis of homeownership in Ecuador, drawing upon data collected through the nationally-representative 2010 Ecuador Household Asset Survey carried out by the authors. The survey collected data on asset ownership both at the household and individual levels. This allows us to overcome a typical problem faced by gender analyses, that of only having the sex of the household head and not the sex of the owner(s). The study explores gender differences in homeownership and housing wealth.
In the anthropogenic fire-disturbed ecosystem of the San Francisco Valley in the Andes of southeastern Ecuador, dense stands of an aggressive invasive weed, the southern bracken fern (Pteridium arachnoideum and Pteridium caudatum), dominate the landscape. To secure sustainable land management in the region, a comprehensive understanding of bracken spatial-distribution patterns and life cycle dynamics is crucial.
In Latin America countries, competition for access to natural resources among different groups has been a major reason for the outburst of violence over the last decades. One of the main aims of the political ecology concerns the understanding of the environmental conditions that can underlies the social conflict among people. Such understanding needs to be based on a detailed investigation of the natural resources of the landscape, mainly the soils.