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Botrosa logging company in El Pambilar, Ecuador


Description:

El Pambilar is a forest located in the province of Esmeraldas. It is considerate as State National Forest Heritage (SNFH) although many peasants have customary possession inside it. Commercial logging activities are forbidden by law in areas considered SNFH and it is the Ministry of Environment, the entity which has competence in these areas. Despite this fact, in 1998 El Pambilar plot was granted to the logging company Bosques Tropicales S.A (commonly known as Botrosa) by the National Institute of Agrarian Development (INDA for its Spanish acronym). This illegal action was denounced by the customary peasant holders who rejected to abandon the area. In response, the logging company through private guards and workers started a harassment campaign against them. As a result many of them left the area, but others remained and formed an organization to make effective its customary rights. They presented legal appeals denouncing the situation, while at the same time were suffering continuous threats and violent actions on the part of companys personnel. Despite two courts ruling in favor of the peasants, the company remained working in the area. In 2011, again, the Ecuadorian courts ruled in favor of the customary holders.

Basic Data

Name of conflict:Botrosa logging company in El Pambilar, Ecuador
Country:Ecuador
State or province:Esmeraldas
Location of conflict:Malimpia
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)

Source of Conflict

Type of conflict. 1st level:Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Management)
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Land acquisition conflicts
Plantation conflicts (incl. Pulp
Specific commodities:Land

Project Details and Actors

Project details

The forest plot El Pambilar encompasses 3123 hectares of primary forest.

Project area:3123
Type of populationRural
Start of the conflict:1998
Company names or state enterprises:Bosques tropicales S.A (BOTROSA) from Ecuador - It is part of the wood-processing consortium named Durini Group
Durini Group from Ecuador
Relevant government actors:National Institute of Agrarian Development, Ministry of Environment, The Comptroller General of the State, The ombudsman, The Ministry of Coordination for Cultural and Natural Heritage, The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock
International and Finance InstitutionsInter-American Commission on Human Rights
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:CEDHU, Inredh, Accion Ecologica, CDES, International Federation on Human Rights

Conflict & Mobilization

IntensityMEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
Local ejos
Social movements
Forms of mobilization:Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism

Impacts

Environmental ImpactsVisible: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Potential: Desertification/Drought, Food insecurity (crop damage), Global warming, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil erosion
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Increase in violence and crime

Outcome

Project StatusIn operation
Conflict outcome / response:Criminalization of activists
Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
Migration/displacement
Violent targeting of activists
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Yes
Briefly explain:After three courts rulings,it seems that authorities are taking actions and finally will close down Botrosas licence and project. Fourteen years after the illegal appropriation of over 3000 ha of national forest, the Constitutional Courts in 2011 ordered Botrosa to leave, for the third time.

Sources & Materials

Related laws and legislationsĀ - Juridical texts related to the conflict

Forest Law

Agricultural Development Law

References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

CEDHU, INREDH, CDES, Accion Ecologica ,2009. EI caso Floresmilo Villalta: que esta detras de su criminalizacion? In: (last acess June 5, 2012)
http://www.accionecologica.org/bosques-y-plantaciones/madereo-explotacion-forestal/documentos-organizaciones

LinksĀ to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

www.fidh.org

www.
accionecologica.org

Meta information

Contributor:Sara Latorre
Last update08/04/2014