Leifsen: Mining the Amazon. Large-scale mining and conflicts in the south of Ecuador

Mining the Amazon - Large-scale mining and conflicts in the south of Ecuador / La Amazonía Minada: Minería a gran escala y conflictos en el Sur del Ecuador

Edited by Karolien van Teijlingen, Esben Leifsen, Consuelo Fernández-Salvador and Luis Sánchez-Vázquez. Co-published by Editorial Univerity of Sanfrancisco in Quito (USFQ) and Ediciones Abya-Yala. (Published in Spanish.)

About the book (from the publisher):

As the first large-scale mineral mine of Ecuador, the Mirador project in the Ecuadorian Amazon has become an emblematic spearhead of both the country’s new resource politics and the movements resisting extraction. This book bundles the work of various political ecology-inspired scholars who followed and studied this project over the last decade, and engages with the territorial conflicts, water battles, identity politics, gender dynamics, participation processes and the politics of knowledge characterizing the case. Based on a wealth of empirical data, the authors critically reflect on the implications of the expanding large-scale mining sector in Ecuador, the country’s new mining politics and the complex power-laden processes that shape the relationships between government, companies, local populations and the environment. As such, this edited volume provides thought-provoking and unique insights in the conflicts and dynamics on the expanding mining frontier in Ecuador, Latin America and beyond.

"Over the last ten years, between 2007 and 2017, the government of Rafael Correa introduced new policies to promote large-scale mineral mining industry in Ecuador and to position the country as a mining country. These new politics were accompanied by the revival of conflicts and debates about the environmental and social impacts generated by the process of resource extraction, both at the local and national level. In this context, the first large-scale mining project of Ecuador – the Mirador project in the Amazon of southern Ecuador – became a litmus test for these new state politics as well as for those from the local communities, social movements and the academia who question these politics. The purpose of this book is to analyse the characteristics of this emblematic project as well as the dynamics and the local contestation around it. This collective work thus presents a mosaic of contributions, that all combine a political ecology framework with an empirical analysis of field work material. The chapters of the book address a range of issues, including the environmental and territorial conflicts, the situated experiences of the affected population (including peasants, Shuar indigenous people and women) vis-a-vis the project, the politics of knowledge and participation mechanisms. Based on their findings, the authors critically reflect on Ecuador’s new mining politics, on the stakes and roles of the involved actors and on the power relations these mining politics introduce and reveal." [Source: Abya-Yala]

About the editors:

  • Karolien van Teijlingen is PhD Fellow at the Department of Human Geography, Planning and International Development (GPIO) and the Centre for Latin American Research and Documentation (CEDLA) of the University of Amsterdam
  • Esben Leifsen is an Associate Professor at the Department of International Environment and Development Studies, Norwegian University of Life Sciences 
  • Consuelo Fernández-Salvador is an Associate Professor at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito and PhD Fellow at the Institute for Social Studies of the Erasmus University of Rotterdam
  • Luis Sánchez-Vázquez is a Researcher at the Institute of Peace and Conflicts at Granada University

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Published 11. October 2017 - 10:41 - Updated 11. October 2017 - 10:43