1. Abstract

a. Case study

a. Narrative style store that shows chapter objective/purpose/problem/thing that needs to change

a. Statements of the problem and how it will be explore

a. Statement of the main way of knowing, its value, and why it’s the chapter focus

a. Context of chapter & main characteristics of focus environmental assessment style

a. Tell the reader why

1. General Introduction:

b. Indigenous peoples of Ecuador

i. Indigenous cosmovisions, including Buen Vivir

i. Conflicts with industry and development

1. Describe Governmental structure

1. Historical context & timing

iii. Introduce Chevron Scenario

1. Adapting this constitution happened in the midst of the Chevron v. Ecuador lawsuit.

1. It was the pinnacle of “the most well-funded corporate retaliation campaign in U.S. history”

1. Describe the RON that arose from the Chevron Case + transition to case studies

i. Case Studies on court rulings

1. Cases that support the rights of nature

i. Decision to prevent extraction of 846 million barrels of oil from Yasuni National Park. Decision made using multi-criteria assessment (NAIADE). Criteria: Social, economic, environmental and political aspects of issue. Final decision: Determined that keeping oil underground had higher value (combined economic, social, environmental) than extracting it.

i. Oil companies would like to extract oil from Ecuadorian Rainforest, Government does not want rainforest/indigenous peoples health damaged. Rainforest is treated as a human in courts, damage done to it by a company equivalent to damage done to human by another human

i. Chevron (known as Texaco) in the 1990s dumped oil waste in the Ecuadorian rainforests. For two decades, western lawyers worked tirelessly to sue Chevron in ecuadorian courts.

1. Cases that give power to industry and development instead of nature

1. The implications of these rulings

0. Framework & Process of Environmental Assessment

a. Steps, Agencies/People involved, Policies

b. Ministry of the Environment (MAE)

i. Public transparency policy

ii. Programs on their website for public use

c. President & Executive Orders

d. Justification of framework and/or process/conditions that lead to view point

e. Political Unrest

f. Debates over natural resource extraction involving indigenous people, and social advocacy

g. Present original framework and how it was or could be modified:

i. Adhere to Montreal Protocol

i. Met in Nov 2018 to revise

ii. 2017-2021 Land Development Plan (UN involvement)


a. Assess the effectiveness of the process and suggests changes

a. Use case studies to compare and contrast approach within region and/or elsewhere

a. Summary and ideas about what is needed next and future need to incorporate way of knowing

a. critical / critic style conclusion of process and future needs.
Ecuador’s Rights of Nature and their Impact on Environmental Protection and Assessment

This textbook chapter will address (a) Select a non-Western European-American national or cultural group and explore applied environmental assessment and analysis from their worldview. Ecuador was chosen as our focus for its unique constitutionalization of the rights of nature (RoN) in 2008, under President Rafael Correa. This referendum was a bottom-up movement made of indigenous groups who have been suffering in the face of government and foreign supported mining and oil extraction. Besides being the first constitution recognizing the RoN, the constitution acknowledged protection of the indigenous cosmovision, Buen Vivir,

‘The good way of living shall require persons, communities, peoples and nationalities to effectively exercise their rights and fulfil their responsibilities within the framework of interculturalism, respect for their diversity, and harmonious coexistence with nature (Art. 275)’

Although the existence of the RoN in the Constitution is deemed “sufficient to legitimize and operationalize those rights,” (Kózte et al. 2017), protection and interpretation of these rights is in the hands of judges and courts, who “lack knowledge of RoN and how to interpret it” (Kózte et al. 2017, Kauffman & Martin, 2017). This has resulted in a variation of judiciary rulings in cases of environmental harm inflicted by government-supported industry and natural resource extraction. As a group, we are curious how the judicial interpretation of RoN and Buen Vivir shapes the state of environmental assessment and protection in Ecuador, and how Ecuador serves as a important case study for other nations and regions looking to implement the rights of nature.

Peer Reviewed Sources:

Kauffman, C. M., & Martin, P. L. (2018). Constructing Rights of Nature Norms in the US,

Ecuador, and New Zealand. Global Environmental Politics, 18(4), 43-62. doi:10.1162/glep_a_00481

This paper discusses comparative assessment of the three different countries all implementing rights of nature within 2 or 3 years of each other.

· Differences in the stage of societal development in each respective country which affects the way the laws came about and how they are interpreted

· A common was RoN discourse transmitted through transnational networks,

· But early RoN laws institutionalize different answers to key normative questions, such as how to define rights-bearing Nature, what rights to recognize, who can speak for Nature, and whether someone should be responsible for protecting Nature’s rights

Kauffman, C. M., & Martin, P. L. (2017). Can Rights of Nature Make Development More

Sustainable? Why Some Ecuadorian lawsuits Succeed and Others Fail. World

Development, 92, 130-142. doi:10.3897/bdj.4.e7720.figure2f

This study compares 13 rights of nature (RoN) lawsuits in Ecuador to analyze strategies that RoN advocates (and opponents) to build (or counter) judicial process in enforcing RoN norms.

· Discusses Right of Nature Laws as they apply to Ecuador

· Explores how large projects still are underway even though these principles are applied

· Judges seem to be a big player since their interpretation affects how the project will go

Knauß, S. (2018). Conceptualizing human stewardship in the anthropocene: The rights of nature in ecuador, new zealand and india. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, , 1-20. doi:

This paper investigates the utilities, intent, and benefits of rights of nature becoming increasingly adopted into constitutions.

· While the author primarily focuses on the adoption if RoN within the Ecuadorian constitution, it compares the adoption of RoN in New Zealand and India.

· The author also has rhetoric that RoN dismantles the dominating western approach to environmental policy and simultaneously serves as a “trans-cultural tool” that allows for “human stewardship over the Earth”

· The “Rights Approach” justifies responsibilities towards nature beyond human interests and it appeals to indigenous knowledge as an alternative sphere of argumentation

Kotzé, L., & Villavicencio Calzadilla, P. (2017). Somewhere between rhetoric and reality:

Environmental constitutionalism and the rights of nature in ecuador. Transnational

Environmental Law, 6(3), 401-433.


This article addresses some success and shortcomings of Ecuador’s constitutionalization of the right’s of nature (Pachamama or Incan mother-goddess).

· Constitutionalization has not yet led to better environmental outcomes (ecocentric laws, policies, or governance practices)

· Ecuador still maintains the neoliberal logic of developing the country based in the exploitation of natural resources, justified by the government’s emphasis on its use to achieve social justice and poverty alleviation.

· Protection and interpretation of these rights is in the hands of judges and courts, who “lack knowledge of RoN and how to interpret it”

Leifsen, E., Sánchez-Vázquez, L., & Reyes, M. (2017b). Claiming prior consultation,

monitoring environmental impact: Counterwork by the use of formal

instruments of participatory governance in Ecuador’s emerging mining sector.

Third World Quarterly, 38(5), 1092–1109.

Ecuador incorporates local/indigenous peoples beliefs and opinions in environmental assessments of mining operations in order to reach equitable decisions as a result of participatory government.

· Used public hearings to open up decision making to locals.

· Combination of corporate, independent, governmental, and local assessment methods used to reach decisions

· “Socialization” of environmental assessments to attempt to draw in more local opinions

Mestanza R. C., & Mooser, A. (2018). Environmental Impacts of Tourism in Cuyabeno

Wildlife Reserve, Ecuador. International Journal of Engineering Sciences &

Research Technology, 7(5), 312-317. DOI: 10.5281/zenodo.1247018.

This article focus on assessing the environmental impacts of tourism in the reserve’s publicly used paths. And the main aim of the research is to determine and analyze the environmental impacts associated with tourists’ presence in the Reserve.

· The authors provide an insight into the research methods used. They examine the environmental impacts caused by tourism by the use of a multi-method study that comprised of participatory and qualitative methods.

· The full-scale assessment of the environmental impacts of tourism the research analyses the pre- and post-tourism time-frame. this research is indispensable because the data collected enable the researchers to compare different times of tourism in the Reserve.

· This article also demonstrates how tourist activities affect the natural cycle, living organisms, and the physical environment. Therefore, the research includes a recommendation on how the Reserve managers can cope with environmental degradation while still supporting tourism.

Ruiz, L. (2016). Strategic Environmental Assessment of Towns in Ecuador with Tourism

Potential. Journal of Building Construction and Planning Research, 4, 83-88. Retrieved from

This article applies the methodology of environmental impact assessment (EIA) to determine how strategies for development and projection of tourism infrastructure impact the environment.

· The author believes that historical towns frequented by tourists may have a negative impact on the environment.

· The author USES RIAM software to analyze the social, political and economic background of tourism activities different from other research works. It assesses the impact of ecological degradation on ecosystem and biodiversity and the physicochemical nature of historical urban tourism.

· The development and planning of tourism infrastructure have a negative impact on the overall environment.

Tanasescu, H. (2013). The Rights of Nature in Ecuador: the making of an idea.

International Journal of Environmental Studies. 70 (6), 846–861.

The paper details the story of the constitutionalization of the rights of nature, how these rights came about, why they appeared, and the implications for various groups and individuals concerned with their creation.

· Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador (CONAIE), was the indigenous movement that brought Correa to presidency in 2006, and de facto party support of Alianza País, which wanted to create a new type of politics called “citizens’ revolution”

· Rights of nature has intellectual origin with indigenous groups, which mobilized against the status quo political economy of resource extraction

· Lists articles in constitution that directly relate to the rights of nature (pg 855-856)

Whytock, C. (2012). The Chevron-Ecuador Case: Three Dimensions of Complexity in

Transnational Dispute Resolution. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting (American Society of International Law), 106, 425-428. doi:10.5305/procannmeetasil.106.0425

This paper examines the political tensions that sparked the intent to rewrite the Ecuadorian constitution, due to a class action lawsuit between Chevron (formerly Texaco) and Ecuador.

· Inter-state complexity is when there is a dispute that spans across states. The Chevron- Ecuador Case was an inter-state complexity that fueled geopolitical tension between the United States

· Their case represents an overall trend where US courts are less open to transnational cases, foreign courts are more open to them, and therefore less validated.

· It also shows a trend towards greater “inter-state, inter-systemic, and doctrinal complexity in transnational dispute resolution”

Vallejo, María Cristina, et al. “Leaving Oil Underground in Ecuador: The Yasuní-ITT Initiative from a Multi-Criteria Perspective.” Ecological Economics, vol. 109, Jan. 2015, pp. 175–185. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1016/j.ecolecon.2014.11.013.

Ecuador focuses on indigenous peoples, biodiversity, and potential impacts on climate change of actions when assessing whether or not to carry out a potentially damaging action.

· Decision to keep 846 million barrels of crude oil in the Yasuní National Park underground made to preserve environment reached after utilizing multi criteria assessment

· Novel Approach to Imprecise Assessment and Decision Environments (NAIADE) Method used to reach decision. This uses an impact matrix to weigh impact against benefits and an equity matrix to analyze conflicts between interest groups

· Economic theory applied to environment to solve problems (cost/benefit, discount rate)

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