Linking political ecology with ecological economics in tree plantation conflicts in Cameroon and Ecuador
Industrial tree plantations are rapidly expanding worldwide and notably causing a growing number of conflicts between companies and local populations. Such conflicts -- the focus of the article -- have been neglected by ecological economists although there is a proliferation of related reports by environmental non-governmental organizations. This paper uses empirical evidence to show how elements of political ecology and ecological economics can be combined for understanding the languages of valuation deployed in tree plantation conflicts in Southern countries. Combining qualitative fieldwork on a Cameroonian rubber plantation and an Ecuadorian eucalypt plantation with a methodological framework taken from the study of social metabolism, we find that both conflicts (although with different emphasis) arise because of land and biomass appropriation, ground clearing, pollution from agrochemicals, and water shortage and are expressed as conflicts on valuation. The metabolism of such tree plantations, through the exchanges of materials with the local environment, explains the bio-physical basis of such conflicts. In the Cameroon case, resistance is mainly sporadic and individual, while in Ecuador, a grassroots organization has been able to respond to rural demands in a structured way. Both patterns of resistance are found in other present-day resource extraction conflicts.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:68:y:2009:i:12:p:2885-2889. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.