Resumo da Estrutura Legal
Ecuador has a number of laws relating to the conservation, and sustainable use of forests, as well as the conservation of natural areas and biodiversity, all of which are currently in the process of being revised. These laws, some of which are mentioned below, provide guidance on the use of natural resources as well as enforcement measures to protect forests.
The Forestry and Conservation of Natural Areas and Wildlife Law has been in effect since 1981. The forestry component emphasizes forest management, production forests (native forests and plantations), forestry control and research. The Biodiversity Law (2004) focuses on the protection of the biodiversity of Ecuador including genetic and ancestral resources. The Water Law (2004) focuses on water conservation, its use (domestic and irrigation), clean-up and quality improvement, the location of underground water sources and citizens’ rights to access and use.
The Constitution of Ecuador (2008) is the supreme law of Ecuador and provides the framework for the organization of the Government and the relationship between the government and citizens. The Constitution was approved by public referendum and became effective on Oct 20, 2008 when it was published in the Official Register. Article 74 of the Constitution regulates environmental services to ensure that people, communities and indigenous groups have the right to benefit from the environment. It also states that “environmental services are not susceptible to appropriation; that their production, provision and use will be regulated by the National Government.” It is therefore commonly understood that carbon sequestration from forests, which is considered to be an environmental service, may not be sold or appropriated, making it unclear how Ecuador would be able to participate in a market based solution to REDD+. The MAE is consequently now leading a process to define the regulatory framework for environmental services in the country that will include incentive mechanisms, usage rights and provisions for the equitable distribution of economic benefits from their use (MAE 2011b). The interpretation of Article 74 is currently under scrutiny for its applicability to present and future REDD+ activities and the level at which they may be carried out. Other articles including Articles 400, 403 and 414 include specific mandates to protect biological diversity, to conserve forests and protect at-risk populations.
Ecuador is a signatory of many international environmental conventions as well as some international treaties related to the protection of endangered biological species (e.g. sharks, marine turtles, vicuñas).
MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT. 2011b. National Program Document Ecuador. UN-REDD Programme. Quito.