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Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1920; doi:10.3390/su9101920

Co-Evolution and Bio-Social Construction: The Kichwa Agroforestry Systems (Chakras) in the Ecuadorian Amazonia

1
Department of Applied Economics II, Universidad de Sevilla, Avda. Ramón y Cajal 1, Sevilla 41005, Spain
2
Department of Business Administration, Universidad del Pacífico, Jesús María 15072, Peru
3
GIDEAO Research Group, Departamento de Economía Financiera y Dirección de Operaciones, Universidad de Sevilla, Avda. Ramón y Cajal 1, Sevilla 41005, Spain
4
Departments of Earth and Life Sciences, Universidad Estatal Amazónica, 160101 Puyo, Ecuador
5
School of Environmental Engineering, Universidad Estatal Amazónica, 160101 Puyo, Ecuador
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 August 2017 / Revised: 15 October 2017 / Accepted: 18 October 2017 / Published: 24 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [5318 KB, uploaded 24 October 2017]   |  

Abstract

Polycultured agrarian systems in Ecuadorian Amazonia (also called chakras or swollen gardens) are characterised by a market-oriented crop for the generation of monetary income, for example, cocoa, other agricultural products (e.g., banana and cassava), and livestock for family farm consumption. Moreover, a chakra is an outstanding example of agroforestry production, in which ecological, social and economic elements co-evolve from a set of close and strong connections. In this context, the conservation and transformation of their biological subsystems can be understood as the result of complex interactions between anthropogenic and non-anthropogenic factors. In turn, such interactions are essential to provide food and monetary income to the indigenous community. Relevant agency capabilities exist that could cause an agroforestry system to take a different path of co-evolution, that is, towards greater or lesser sustainability associated with different levels of complexity. In conclusion, chakras have key ecological features that can mitigate the impact of human population growth in Amazonia. Additionally, chakras have their own processes of social self-regulation which enhance the possibilities of adaptation of Kichwa communities to changing environmental conditions, being essential elements in local food sovereignty, equitable gender relations and the respect of ancestral wisdom. View Full-Text
Keywords: ecological economics; agroecology; indigenous knowledge; Sumak Kawsay ecological economics; agroecology; indigenous knowledge; Sumak Kawsay
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Coq-Huelva, D.; Higuchi, A.; Alfalla-Luque, R.; Burgos-Morán, R.; Arias-Gutiérrez, R. Co-Evolution and Bio-Social Construction: The Kichwa Agroforestry Systems (Chakras) in the Ecuadorian Amazonia. Sustainability 2017, 9, 1920.

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