Between planetary urbanisation and thinking forests: a study of socio-ecological change in the Ecuadorian Amazon

The project sets out to understand the socio-ecological relations that are produced or reconfigured by Ecuador’s recently founded Regional Amazonian University, Ikiam (meaning ‘forest’ or ‘nature’ in the indigenous language Shuar), as well as the national and international discourses and policies on a transition to a ‘green economy’ which underpin Ikiam’s development.

Focusing particularly on people’s lived experiences, including the heterogeneity of their interpretations and valuations, the project uses ethnographic and participatory research methods to inquire into the complexities of this socio-ecological change ‘on site’. Critical discourse analysis is used to approach the question of Ikiam’s articulation into wider global processes of green economy transitions.

Laura Rival
Associate Professor of Anthropology and Development
Independent Social Research Foundation