Incidence of community land fragmentation in conservation and development: The Ecuadorian case
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Current socio-economic conditions in Ecuador are characterized by a series of contradictions which directly affect the quality of life of the population and seriously threaten the continued existence of natural resources. One of these contradictions involves the sale of community properties at an increasing rate after said properties, under the jurisdiction of agrarian and communal legislation, have been divided by means of pressure put on communities to sell their lands to agro-export or forestry concerns. This practice is not carried out in a legal fashion, nor with even the most basic natural resources management criteria, especially those related to biological management. The majority of efforts to divide community lands are carried out by third parties, and designed to lead to the eventual sale of part or all of the property in question. This process contributes very little, if anything, to local community development.