Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date



The development of large plantations of African oil palms in Ecuador's Amazonian province of Napo has recently become a sensitive issue for this small South American country. Over the past few years, the indigenous peoples of the Cofan, Siona-Secoya, and Quichua tribes have felt increasingly threatened by the incursions of oil-palm plantations and very concerned about plans for a major expansion of this agro-industry in the region. Such an expansion could result in extensive destruction of the rain forest and a decline in the quality of the river waters, both vital to the physical and cultural survival of these indigenous tribes. The Ecuadorian government supports the expansion of these plantations as a key part of its development program in the Amazonian region and, for the most part, has been far less concerned about the needs of the Indians.

Language (ISO)



The Latin American and Iberian Institute of the University of New Mexico


environmental effects, palm oil, Ecuador