Imaginaries of place in territorialization processes: Transforming the Oyacachi páramos through nature conservation and water transfers in the Ecuadorian highlands

Rossana Manosalvas*, Jaime Hoogesteger, Rutgerd Boelens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

How Ecuadorian páramos are perceived has drastically changed over the last five decades. From cold, hostile, and unproductive hinterlands, páramos have changed to become areas for biodiversity conservation and ‘water towers’ that ought to be protected to provide clean and abundant water for cities and irrigation. To understand how these changing perceptions of páramos relate to interventions and their on-the-ground negotiation by local communities, we develop the notion of imaginaries of place and explore its relations to notions of governmentality and territorialization. We show how, based on changing imaginaries of what páramos are, state and non-state interventions have tried to control the Oyacachi páramos in the Northern Ecuadorian Highlands for the specific purpose of nature and water conservation. At the same time, we show that these interventions are highly contested on-the-ground. This leads to confrontations, negotiations, and a re-definition of the imaginaries of place there exist. Our analysis expounds the relevance of understanding imaginaries of place and its close relations to interventions and their negotiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1010-1028
JournalEnvironment and Planning C: Politics and Space
Volume41
Issue number5
Early online date5 Apr 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023

Keywords

  • Ecuador
  • governmentalities
  • hydrosocial territories
  • imaginaries of place
  • nature conservation
  • páramos
  • water

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