Ruling undercuts Ecuador's forestry reform


Innovative efforts to improve oversight of logging in Ecuador, where an estimated 50-70% of cutting is done illegally, have suffered a potentially crippling blow in the country's courts. On Oct. 28, Ecuador's Constitutional Tribunal issued a ruling that throws a key component of those reforms—a new, outsourced system of forestry supervision—into limbo. Ecuador began outsourcing regulatory functions in the forestry sector in 2000 as part of an ambitious effort to reduce bureaucracy, improve transparency, halt corruption and thereby rein in rampant illegal cutting. (See "Ecuador finishing forestry-control overhaul"— EcoAméricas, April '02.) That year it outsourced forest stewardship, which includes inspections to ensure cutting takes place in the approved locations and manner; and green surveillance, the system by which timber shipments are monitored... [Log in to read more]

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