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Ecuador's Environmental RevolutionsEcoimperialists, Ecodependents, and Ecoresisters$
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Tammy L. Lewis

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780262034296

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262034296.001.0001

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Origins, 1978 to 1987

Origins, 1978 to 1987

Ambientalistas and Ecologistas Emerge

(p.55) 4 Origins, 1978 to 1987
Ecuador's Environmental Revolutions

Tammy L. Lewis

The MIT Press

The genesis of the Ecuadorian environmental movement is best understood as it relates to three factors: the rise of local environmental problems, the interests of “the international environmental community,” and the deficiencies of the Ecuadorian state. The chapter traces the movement from its origins in the late 1970s, through its recognition as a relevant force in Ecuadorian politics in the late 1980s. After the founding of a few important organizations, namely Fundación Natura and Acción Ecológica, the movement grew and split into two dominant camps: the first became professionalized and worked hand-in-hand with international supporters, representing the ideal type “ecodependent” (locally ambientalistas); the other took a radical stance against extractive development, mobilized communities and battled transnational polluters, typifying the category “ecoresister” (locally ecologistas). Though the movement emerged from within the civil society of the nation, transnational actors played a critical role in the development of Ecuadorian environmentalism. Not coincidentally, the advent of the environmental movement occurred alongside an increasingly powerful international neoliberal agenda. The chapter concludes with an analysis of the emergence of the movement within the context of the international political economy.

Keywords:   Ecuador, Environmental movement, Fundación Natura, Acción Ecológica, Ecodependent, Ecoresister, Radical, Civil society, Neoliberalism, International political economy

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