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Accepted Paper:

Mining in Protected Areas and Traditional Lands in the Ecuadorian Amazon  
Janina Hahne

Paper Short Abstract:

With a focus on mining in the rural Ecuadorian Amazon and the complex processes that result from recourse interests, cases of indigenous communities approach local health experiences. An analysis of substances and socioecological effects directs to human-nature relations in the Anthropocene.

Paper Abstract:

The Amazon rainforest is a biodiversity hotspot and a complex ecological system in Latin America relevant for local people and other plant and animal species, including the links between different forms of life. Even when several conventions like the Nagoya Protocol or the Ecuadorian constitution (2008) support the rights of nature and people, damages in the (protected) area(s) occur due to profit interests in oil and wood. Various US and Chinese oil companies are being charged for irreversible ecological harm in forests or disrespect of human and indigenous rights.

In Ecuador, compared to other Latin American countries like Brazil or Peru, less land is used for mining activities. Still, when local resources like the air and water become a medium to transport harmful or even toxic substances, this affects not only the highly biodiverse environment but also people in mining areas, e.g., by limited nutritional sovereignty or access to fresh water. An analysis of conditions of livelihood, health, and labor recognizes exposure to harmful substances in a transformed landscape. Could mining substances and introduced processes affect human-nature relations and the bodily constitution in Ecuadorian indigenous territories, leading to transformed environmental perceptions?

With this paper about exploited and harmful substances in the soil of the local Amazon rainforest and mining-related processes in nature, during the conference, I aim to discuss this topic to prepare a field research project or a part of my aspired Ph.D. studies at the University of Barcelona.

Panel OP115
Health and more-than-human entanglements
  Session 2 Thursday 18 July, 2024, -