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 hdl.handle.net/1765/95593
Journal Journal of Agrarian Change
Citation
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 http://hdl.handle.net/1765/95593