Chachi indigenous centre El Encanto vs Durini, Ecuador


Within a context characterized by large rates of deforestation, reduced forest extensions most of them under communal land tenure regime, the Durini Group decided to promote a new business strategy. Aimed at securing its long-term wood supply, it consisted in reaching harvest agreements with diverse Chachi indigenous communities. This new alternative model of extraction complemented its prevailing extractive strategies such as the purchase of wood from intermediaries and the direct logging of company land, land owned by independent peasants, and holdings controlled by legal or illegal settlers. Within these agreements the Chachi communities committed themselves to granting the consortium exclusive access to their communally held harvestable timber, and in exchange the consortium paid the forest management plans cost as well as diverse agricultural and social projects. The Durini Group managed to sign 3 of these agreements with three Chachi communities, after an agreement with the Chachi second-tier organization. However, the Chachi community El Encanto refused participating. As a result, it suffered continuous harassment from the part of the company. This community proposed to develop a community-based management plan to increase its standard of life.

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Basic Data
NameChachi indigenous centre El Encanto vs Durini, Ecuador
SiteSan Jose de Cayapas
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Management)
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Deforestation
Logging and non timber extraction
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsThe harvest contract established that the company would purchase timber, pay for forest management and give 5% of the sale revenues to the second-tier Chachi organization (FECCHE). Moreover, it would fund community projects, offer job opportunities, develop the community infrastructure (particularly roads), support forest management activities, help with land legalization and develop agricultural activities. It also stipulated that the community would grant exclusive access to its softwood to the timber group, would let the logging company build the necessary roads, ensure that no cattle graze in the community productive forest, establish clear demarcations between family land and the community productive forest, and manage community funds fairly and rationally. The company and the community would jointly decide which species to use in reforestation, co-participate in the sustainable management of the community forest and look for external funding to realize community projects. The contract would last 20 years.

Type of PopulationRural
Start Date1993
Company Names or State EnterprisesDurini Group from Ecuador
Endesa (Endesa) from Spain
Enchapes Decorativos S.A. from Ecuador
Bosques tropicales S.A (BOTROSA) from Ecuador
Aglomerados Cotopaxi S.A. (ACOSA) from Ecuador
Servicios y Trabajos Forestales (SETRAFOR) from Ecuador
Equipment Maintenance and Repair (EFOCOL) from Ecuador
Empresa Durini Industria de Madera C.A. (EDIMCA) from Ecuador
MAPRESA from Ecuador - closely related to the Group (Ecuador)
Pea Durini Cia. Ltda from Ecuador - closely related to the Group (Ecuador)
Relevant government actorsThe Ecuadorian National Institute for Forests, Nature and Wildlife , Govenor of Esmeraldas
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersAccion Ecolgica, Fundacion para el Desarrollo Alternativo-Fundeal (Foundation for Alternative Development), Confederacion de Nacionalidades de Indigenas del Ecuador-CONAIE, Coordinadora Ecuatoriana de Organizaciones para la Defensa de la Naturaleza y el Medio Ambiente CEDENMA.
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)LATENT (no visible organising at the moment)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingIndigenous groups or traditional communities
Forms of MobilizationInvolvement of national and international NGOs
Official complaint letters and petitions
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Desertification/Drought, Food insecurity (crop damage), Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover
Health ImpactsPotential: Malnutrition
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors
Potential: Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Land dispossession
Project StatusStopped
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseProject cancelled
Development of AlternativesThe development of productive alternatives and commercialization networks such as agro-forestry projects
Do you consider this as a success?Yes
Why? Explain briefly.The Chachi community successfully avoided signing a harvest agreement with the logging company. They still are being exploited as cheap labour force and through the low price of their products
Sources and Materials

Forestry Law


Robalino, G. (1997) Los Chachis del Encanto por la defensa de su bosque, in: A. Varea et al. (Eds) Ecologismo Ecuatorial. Conflictos Socioambientales y Movimiento Ecologista, Vol. 3 (Quito, Abya Yala), pp. 361400.

Latorre, Sara. 2011. El pago de servicios ambientales por conservacin de la biodiversidad como instrumento para el desarrollo con identidad: caso La Gran Reserva Chachi, cantn Eloy Alfaro, provincia de Esmeraldas. Tesis. Matesra en Ciencias Sociales, mencin estudios socioambientales. Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO).Ecuador

Meta Information
ContributorSara Latorre
Last update08/04/2014