Ecuador ( (listen) EK-wə-dor; Spanish pronunciation: [ekwaˈðoɾ] (listen); Quechua: Ikwayur; Shuar: Ecuador or Ekuatur), officially the Republic of Ecuador (Spanish: República del Ecuador, which literally translates as "Republic of the Equator"; Quechua: Ikwadur Ripuwlika; Shuar: Ekuatur Nunka), is a country in northwestern South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and the Pacific Ocean on the west. Ecuador also includes the Galápagos Islands in the Pacific, about 1,000 kilometers (621 mi) west of the mainland. The capital is Quito.
Biodiversity[edit | edit source]
Ecuador is one of seventeen megadiverse countries in the world according to Conservation International, and it has the most biodiversity per square kilometer of any nation.
Ecuador has 1,600 bird species (15% of the world's known bird species) in the continental area and 38 more endemic in the Galápagos. In addition to more than 16,000 species of plants, the country has 106 endemic reptiles, 138 endemic amphibians, and 6,000 species of butterfly. The Galápagos Islands are well known as a region of distinct fauna, as the famous place of birth to Darwin's Theory of Evolution, and as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Ecuador has the first constitution to recognize the rights of nature. The protection of the nation's biodiversity is an explicit national priority as stated in the National Plan of "Buen Vivir", or good living, Objective 4, "Guarantee the rights of nature", Policy 1: "Sustainably conserve and manage the natural heritage, including its land and marine biodiversity, which is considered a strategic sector".
As of the writing of the plan in 2008, 19% of Ecuador's land area was in a protected area; however, the plan also states that 32% of the land must be protected in order to truly preserve the nation's biodiversity. Current protected areas include 11 national parks, 10 wildlife refuges, 9 ecological reserves, and other areas. A program begun in 2008, Sociobosque, is preserving another 2.3% of total land area (6,295 km2, or 629,500 ha) by paying private landowners or community landowners (such as Amerindian tribes) incentives to maintain their land as native ecosystems such as native forests or grasslands. Eligibility and subsidy rates for this program are determined based on the poverty in the region, the number of hectares that will be protected, and the type of ecosystem of the land to be protected, among other factors. Ecuador had a 2018 Forest Landscape Integrity Index mean score of 7.66/10, ranking it 35th globally out of 172 countries.
Despite being on the UNESCO list, the Galápagos are endangered by a range of negative environmental effects, threatening the existence of this exotic ecosystem. Additionally, oil exploitation of the Amazon rainforest has led to the release of billions of gallons of untreated wastes, gas, and crude oil into the environment, contaminating ecosystems and causing detrimental health effects to Amerindian peoples. One of the best known examples is the Texaco-Chevron case. This American oil company operated in the Ecuadorian Amazon region between 1964 and 1992. During this period, Texaco drilled 339 wells in 15 petroleum fields and abandoned 627 toxic wastewater pits, as well as other elements of the oil infrastructure. It is now known that these highly polluting and now obsolete technologies were used as a way to reduce expenses.
In 2022 the supreme court of Ecuador decided that "“under no circumstances can a project be carried out that generates excessive sacrifices to the collective rights of communities and nature.” It also required the government to respect the opinion of Indigenous peoples of the Americas about different industrial projects on their land. Advocates of the decision argue that it will have consequences far beyond Ecuador. In general, ecosystems are in better shape when indigenous peoples own or manage the land.
Cycling activism[edit | edit source]
The Ciclopaseo is a project created by Biciaccion Foundation. It was administrated by this organization from 2003 until 2007, from there it was organized by the local organization Ciclopolis until 2017. Nowadays the local traffic law enforcement organisation (Agencia Metropolitana de Tránsito by the Spanish name) is administering the project. A route of 30 km running from the North to South of the city is closed to traffic every Sunday from 8 am until 2 pm to give preference to cyclists and pedestrians. The project is run in cooperation with the Municipality and features diverse locations of the city from Carolina Park, Ejido Park the Historic Center of Quito, Avenue Rio Amazonas, and The Panecillo. 
Ethical consumerism[edit | edit source]
Sustainable tourism: intagturismo.com
Food activism[edit | edit source]
la Red de Guardianes de Semillas (the Seed Savers' Network)
Sustainable transport[edit | edit source]
Cuenca's tramway is the largest public transport system in the city and the first modern tramway in Ecuador. It was inaugurated on March 8, 2019. It has 20.4 kilometers (12.7 mi) and 27 stations. It will transport 120,000 passagers daily. Its route starts in the south of Cuenca and ends in the north at the Parque Industrial neighbourhood. W
Towards sustainable economies[edit | edit source]
FLOK Society Free/Libre Open Knowledge Society, designing a world for the commons. Diseñando un cambio de matriz productiva hacia la sociedad del conocimiento libre, común y abierto - FLOK Society (EN) (wiki)
Resources[edit | edit source]
Visions[edit | edit source]
Amazon Sacred Headwaters Initiative, added 16:45, 22 March 2022 (UTC)
Organisations working with communities[edit | edit source]
Acción Ecológica is one of the main environmental organizations based in Ecuador. It is based in Quito.
They campaign on a range of issues including oil extraction, exploration and pipeline transport, Amazon Rainforest protection, food sovereignty, biofuels and plantations for carbon offsets.
- Ecological Action, added 21:44, 11 November 2021 (UTC)
News and comment[edit | edit source]
- Nature surpassing nation: the Amazon Sacred Headwaters shows how a bioregion can transcend borders, The Daily Alternative (Mar 14, 2022)
Waorani People Win Landmark Legal Victory Against Ecuadorian Government, Apr 26 
One Ecuadorian City Is Converting Its Entire Bus Fleet To Electric By March 2019, Nov 14 
Ecuador's "citizen revolution", Aug 7 
What Every Country Can Learn From Ecuador, May 17 
Ecuador, Open Knowledge, and 'Buen Vivir': Interview With Michel Bauwens December 16 
Bauwens Joins Ecuador in Planning a Commons-based, Peer Production Economy, September 20 
Is this the new economics utopia? Saamah Abdallah, Researcher, Centre for Well-being, August 31
Ecuador Approves New Constitution: Voters Approve Rights of Nature, Ecuador Follows Lead of U.S. Communities: First Country in the World to Shift to Rights-Based Environmental Protection, Working With Legal Defense Fund  September 28
Near you[edit | edit source]