Worldwide, industrial tree plantations are at the origin of a growing number of conflicts between local populations and commercial planters. Such conflicts – which often turn out to be ‘environmental’ – have largely remained understudied. By focusing on the establishment of an industrial eucalypt monoculture in a coastal Ecuadorian canton, this paper investigates the effects of the penetration of capital into the rural sphere, emphasizing the resulting resistance campaign of a local NGO originating from a peasant organization. We analyse the evolution of land conflicts in the region – historically as well as operationally during the latest eucalypt campaign.We find that displacement of local peasants is a recurrent theme, while environmental issues have recently been incorporated into the resistance to landowners.We thus argue that the agrarian question also includes – now perhaps more than ever – an environmental dimension, thereby providing space for a fruitful dialogue between political ecologists and students of agrarian conflicts.

Additional Metadata
Keywords tree plantations, environmental conflict, NGOs, agrarian question, political ecology
Persistent URL
Journal Journal of Agrarian Change
Gerber, J, & Veuthey, S. (2010). Plantations, resistance and the greening of the agrarian question in coastal Ecuador. Journal of Agrarian Change, 10(4), 455–481. Retrieved from