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A Casualty of Peace? Lessons on De-militarizing Conservation in the Cordillera del Condor Corridor

Part of the Landscape Series book series (LAEC,volume 25)


The resolution in 1998 of the armed conflict between Peru and Ecuador through environmental peace-building negotiations, creating a transboundary conservation area, have been heralded as an exemplar of how ecological factors can foster collaboration between adversaries (Ali SH, Peace parks: conservation and conflict resolution. The MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 2007; Simmons B, Territorial disputes and their resolution: the case of Ecuador and Peru. United States Institute of Peace, Washington, DC, 1999; Herz M, Nogueira JP, Ecuador vs. Peru: Peacemaking amid rivalry, International Peace Academy, occasional paper series. Rienner Publishers, Boulder: L, 2002). This was also a rare case of US mediation resolving a territorial conflict alongside Brazilian diplomacy. However, 20 years later the peace between the two countries has not reaped the conservation dividends expected as other extractive industry interests and drug gangs have found their way into this region. Some of the lessons from earlier peace settlements that went awry need to be considered (Hampson FO, Nurturing peace: why peace settlements succeed or fail. United States Institute of Peace Press, Washington, DC, 1996). This chapter explores the lessons of public-private partnerships for conservation in a post-conflict demilitarized hinterland. It argues that “collateral values” of natural conservation that may be generated through conflict are vulnerable when peace is achieved without proper monitoring and enforcement mechanisms in place. The importance of finding better ways of not just attaining peace but sustaining conservation after peace is addressed through interviews with key stakeholders in a detailed retrospective of this extraordinary case.

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Fig. 8.1


  1. 1.

    The “Rio Protocol” refers The Protocol of Peace, Friendship, and Boundaries between Peru and Ecuador, an international agreement signed in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on January 29, 1942, by the foreign ministers of Peru and Ecuador, with the participation of the United States, Brazil, Chile and Argentina as guarantors. The Protocol was intended resolve the long-running territorial dispute between the two countries, and brought about the official end of the Ecuadorian-Peruvian War of 1941–1942.

  2. 2.

    Refer to the ITTO web site for further details

  3. 3.

    USAID has funded numerous efforts for collaborative development along the Peru-Ecuador border. See for example, Assessment of the USAID Peru– Ecuador Border Region Development Program.

  4. 4.

    The Canadian program is managed by the Artisanal Gold Council:

  5. 5.

    Respondent: Santiago Kingman, Coordinador del Proyecto ITTO PD 238/03 Respondiendo al cuestionario desde el punto de vista de las comunidades Macas, Ecuador. August 3, 2010.

  6. 6.

    Respondent Ángel Nantip: Coordinador de Gestión Externa Comunicador del Pueblo Resident of Pueblo Shuar Arutan Fecha: 15 de julio de 2010.

  7. 7.

    Kefren Graña, Presidente de FECOHRSA, Ruyer Chimpokat, Vice Presidente de FECOHRSA; Eliseo Chimshami, Tesorero de FECOHRSA, Comunidad de Kukuasa, Distrito del RSA FECOHRSA – Federación de las Comunidades Wampisas del Río Santiago.

  8. 8.

    Respondent: Bráulio Andrade Conservación Internacional Perú.

  9. 9.

    Santiago Kingman, Coordinador del Proyecto ITTO PD 238/03 Macas, Ecuador, August 3, 2010.

  10. 10.

    For example, a study of the peace agreement conducted by the U.S. Institute of peace bare mentions the central role of establishing the national parks as means of conflict resolution. Instead the focus is on the process of mediation. See Simmons 1999.

  11. 11.

    Respondent: Luis Espinel, Director Ejecutivo, Conservación Internacional Perú.

  12. 12.

    Respondent: Ruth Elena Ruiz, Fundacio Natura.

  13. 13.

    Two of the key groups that have been in contact with the Shuar are Accion Ecologica and The Indigenous Peoples and Community Conserved Territories and Areas Consortium


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The author wishes to thank Taylor Holden and the Spatial Analysis Lab at the University of Richmond for preparing the map in Fig. 8.1.

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Correspondence to Saleem H. Ali .

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Ali, S.H. (2019). A Casualty of Peace? Lessons on De-militarizing Conservation in the Cordillera del Condor Corridor. In: Lookingbill, T., Smallwood, P. (eds) Collateral Values. Landscape Series, vol 25. Springer, Cham.

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