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Sustainable or Trajectory Geographies? Multiple Actors and Change in the Rural Equatorial Andes

Authors: Gregory Knapp*, University of Texas - Austin
Topics: Mountain Environments, Latin America, Cultural and Political Ecology
Keywords: Mountains, Sustainability, Ecuador
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Sustainability, originally a concept designed to establish relationships between diverse programs at the United Nations, can also have heuristic value in teasing out interconnections between diverse place-based adaptive strategies in landscapes of production in mountain regions. In the rural equatorial Andes, options exist for balancing some aspects of modernization with respect for environments and local people in particular geographic contexts. Pre-conditions include institutional, social and personal frameworks that allow multiple actors with diverse positionalities to negotiate ongoing compromises and adaptive relationships. Changing policies of the Ecuadorian Government spurred in part by the IMF and a national uprising in October 2-13, 2019 resulted in changes to bargaining positions for local actors. For example, heightened communication was established with indigenous organizations, while damage was sustained to export-oriented floriculture that employs local people. This paper, focusing in particular on greenhouse floriculture, explores some of the implications of recent events in this region for the prospects for multiple actors to co-create sustainable geographies, or (less ambitiously) trajectory geographies.

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