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Über dieses Buch

This book explores the obstacles facing indigenous communities, non-governmental organizations, governments, and international institutions in their attempts to protect the cultures of indigenous peoples and the world’s remaining rainforests.

Indigenous peoples are essential as guardians of the world’s wild places for the maintenance of ecosystems and the prevention of climate change. The Amazonian/Andean indigenous philosophies of sumac kawsay/suma qamaña (buen vivir) were the inspiration for the incorporation of the Rights of Nature into the Ecuadorian and Bolivian constitutions of 2008 and 2009. Yet despite the creation of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (2000), and the adoption of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007), indigenous peoples have been marginalized from intergovernmental environmental negotiations. Indigenous environment protectors’ lives are in danger while the Amazon rainforests continue to burn.

By the third decade of the 21st century, the dawn of “woke” capitalism was accompanied by the expansion of ethical investment, with BlackRock leading the field in the “greening” of investment management, while Big Oil sought a career change in sustainable energy production. The final chapters explain the confluence of forces that has resulted in the continued expansion of the extractive frontier into indigenous territory in the Amazon, including areas occupied by peoples living in voluntary isolation.

Among these forces are legal and extracurricular payments made to individuals, within indigenous communities and in state entities, and the use of tax havens to deposit unofficial payments made to secure public contracts. Solutions to loss of biodiversity and climate change may be found as much in the transformation of global financial and tax systems in terms of transparency and accountability, as in efforts by states, intergovernmental institutions and private foundations to protect wild areas through the designation of national parks, through climate finance, and other “sustainable” investment strategies.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Introduction: Indigenous Peoples and Modernity: Identity in the Ages of Empire and Decolonization

Abstract
Indigenous communities and hill tribes were engaged in the art of attempting not to be governed by centralizing forces before the age of European empires that began in the fifteenth century in Latin America (Abya Yala). Throughout the colonial period, through the independence wars of the early nineteenth century and into the twenty-first century, indigenous communities in Ecuador moved in and out of modernity, alternately resisting and submitting to colonizers in a quest for survival and sovereignty. This chapter outlines the themes addressed in the book before providing a history of first nation peoples’ efforts to gain a place in the seats of global governance in Geneva and New York in the course of the decolonization period between the world wars and at the United Nations in the post-Second War period culminating in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), adopted in 2007.
Linda Etchart

Chapter 2. Global Governance of the Environment: Multiple Accountability Disorder?

Abstract
This chapter provides an introduction to the concept and practice of global governance, with a focus of global environmental governance, tracing its history and evolution over the twentieth century and its articulations in the third decade of the twenty-first century. It examines how global governance has been reconceptualized and reimagined to incorporate new players at the ground level, including indigenous peoples, who have been able to participate in and contribute to global governance through travel to international conferences and the utilization of new means of communication, including the use of social media networks which have transformed intergovernmental and non-governmental movements, creating new political forces. The chapter examines the intersections among institutions of global governance, among intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, and the private sector in order to analyse the workings of power that influence decision-making at all levels.
Linda Etchart

Chapter 3. Buen Vivir and the Rights of Nature in National and International Law

Abstract
In the context of the danger to human existence of climate change and loss of biodiversity, and the failure of governments to prevent deforestation and other human activities that result in unsustainable levels of carbon emissions, this chapter explores indigenous peoples’ relationship to nature and the lessons the West has learned from indigenous worldviews and practices. It traces the evolution of global indigenous environmental movements and the incorporation of sumak kawsay/suma qamaña and the Rights of Nature into the Ecuadorian and Bolivian constitutions. It indicates the ways in which indigenous cosmologies, and indigenous movements, have influenced intergovernmental bodies’ environmental initiatives and led to the incorporation of indigenous peoples’ rights into international law. The successful outcomes of rights of nature litigation in countries across the continents, including in Latin America, highlight the role of local judiciaries in protecting both indigenous cultures and the world’s wild places.
Linda Etchart

Chapter 4. Indigenous Peoples’ Rights and Global Governance of the Environment in the Amazon Basin: Case Study Ecuador

Abstract
This chapter provides an overview of the process of the creation of international instruments to protect the rights of indigenous peoples, including the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) of 2007, and the efforts of indigenous peoples themselves to be recognized as equal partners to nation states on the global stage. It examines indigenous communities’ response to the 2008 Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) initiatives. Focussing on the Ecuadorian Amazon, the chapter explores the history of indigenous communities’ resistance to colonial occupation, and the structural conditions that led to concessions being awarded to Chinese companies in 2016 to drill for oil in the Yasuní National Park, which had been designated by UNESCO as a World Biosphere Reserve in 1989. Yasuní is also the home of communities living in voluntary isolation whose way of life is threatened by extractive operations. The final section analyses successful indigenous and international NGO campaigns mounted to protect areas of Ecuadorian rainforest that provide evidence of the value of social media and the press in amplifying the voices of the unheard and exerting pressure on government agencies and individual officials to modify development policymaking and planning.
Linda Etchart

Chapter 5. Corporate Social Responsibility and the Extractive Industries in the Ecuadorian Amazon: Indigenous Rights and the Environment

Abstract
This chapter analyses the dynamics of power that operate in the implementation of the principle of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) in the context of oil drilling and mineral extraction in indigenous territory. Taking the examples of the indigenous and local communities’ litigation against Chevron/Texaco that began in 1993, indigenous responses to the activities of Chinese mining companies in Shuar territory, and the operations of the Chinese oil company, Andes Petroleum, in the Ecuadorian Amazon, the chapter illustrates the consequences of power inequalities at the local and global levels, and the inherent risks to indigenous peoples’ cultures and the environment with the application of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC), together with other elements of international law, within current economic and political structures. Facebook has become an important tool of communication for indigenous communities in Latin America: the chapter explores struggles to control the narrative over social media in conflicts between indigenous communities and the extractive industries.
Linda Etchart

Chapter 6. Biodiversity, Global Governance of the Environment, and Indigenous Peoples

Abstract
This chapter examines the role of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) in global environmental governance, and how the CBD has been applied by the Ecuadorian government through its National Biodiversity Strategy (2015–2030). It explores the mechanisms through which the Correa administrations were able to use the implementation of international treaties and conventions relating to biodiversity, as well as the country’s constitution, to legitimize the activities of extractive industries that threaten both the rights of indigenous peoples and the rights of nature. The construction of access roads to oil wells in the Ecuadorian Amazon since the 1960s has had an adverse effect on the biodiversity of the rainforest and has encouraged legal and illegal hunting of game, exacerbated by the bushmeat trade and the trafficking of wild animals to satisfy the global pet market. The reinforcing effect of this combination of external factors has resulted in greater scarcity of endangered species, for which one potential remedy may be the expansion of indigenous-controlled ecotourism projects in a context of transborder alliances of indigenous communities.
Linda Etchart

Chapter 7. Sustainable Funds and “Cuddly Capitalism”: Indigenous Land Defenders and the Greenwashing of Investment Management

Abstract
This chapter examines the role played by the private sector in global environmental governance, with a focus on the green credentials of the world’s largest investment management company, BlackRock, and a selection of the top Fortune 500 companies. An assessment is made of the contribution of the largest investment management companies to combat climate change through the promotion of environmental, social, and governance ETFs and green bonds to millennial investors, and BlackRock’s regulation of the composition of boards of directors according to performance in monitoring and reporting Scope 1, 2, and 3 CO2 emissions. In the context of the ongoing reliance on non-climate compliant investments to ensure satisfactory portfolio performance, the chapter investigates investment management and private industry decisions as they intersect with indigenous peoples’ rights in the context of climate change and the rights of nature, with reference to the political activism of the Huaorani, Sarayaku Kichwa, Cofán, and Sápara nations of the Ecuadorian Amazon.
Linda Etchart

Chapter 8. Financing for Development: Extra-Official Payments as Incentives for Development Projects

Abstract
Using examples from the administrations of Rafael Correa in Ecuador 2007–2017, this chapter examines obstacles to the achievement of successful environmental and human rights governance, in the form of economic and technological dependency on foreign actors, and the associated practice of procurement incentives deriving from outside the country that result in decisions that may be detrimental to indigenous peoples’ wellbeing and protection of ecosystems. The construction of the Coca Codo Sinclair dam in Ecuador, completed in 2016, is one example of a centrally driven mega-development project which was designed and implemented with a disregard for social and environmental consequences. Poor decision-making in this and other cases may have been tied to hidden individual or political financial rewards. In view of the widespread use of shell companies in tax havens by government officials for the purposes of concealing irregular payments, a practice that undermines democratic principles and equitable governance, the chapter concludes with a review of existing and proposed measures for international cooperation to ensure transparency in local and cross-border financial transactions, which in the long term may contribute to more effective protection of indigenous cultures and the environment.
Linda Etchart

Backmatter

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