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REDD+ and the Indigenous Question: A Case Study from Ecuador
Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, 195 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511, USA
Received: 3 March 2011; in revised form: 12 April 2011 / Accepted: 13 April 2011 / Published: 13 April 2011
Abstract: One of the main issues regarding the implementation of REDD+ in Latin America has been the growing concern that such projects may infringe upon the rights and negatively affect the livelihoods of forest-dependent communities. Various indigenous and civil society organizations are ardently opposed to the initiative. Such is the case in Ecuador, where indigenous opposition to REDD+ represents a considerable obstacle in the creation of a national strategy since more than 60% of the country’s remaining forest cover is on indigenous land or under indigenous occupation. Thus one of the most critical challenges remaining for Ecuador will be the construction of a strong legal, financial, and institutional framework—one that the greater indigenous community might be willing to accept. Closer examination of this topic however, reveals just how difficult this may become. Lack of information, a recent political split between national authorities and the indigenous sector, and the dissimilar organizational capacity levels of indigenous communities make the feasibility of carrying out REDD+ projects on these lands extremely complex. However, the biggest obstacle may be ideological. Many indigenous groups view REDD+, with its possible emphasis on international markets and neoliberal mechanisms, as a continuation of the type of policies that have impeded their quest for sovereignty and self determination. As such, indigenous people are only willing to consider such projects if they clearly see preconditions in place that would safeguard their cultures, territories, and autonomy.
Keywords: REDD+; indigenous; ecuador; communities; rights; socio-bosque; forests
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MDPI and ACS Style
Reed, P. REDD+ and the Indigenous Question: A Case Study from Ecuador. Forests 2011, 2, 525-549.
Reed P. REDD+ and the Indigenous Question: A Case Study from Ecuador. Forests. 2011; 2(2):525-549.
Reed, Pablo. 2011. "REDD+ and the Indigenous Question: A Case Study from Ecuador." Forests 2, no. 2: 525-549.