Human Ecology

, Volume 40, Issue 1, pp 101–115 | Cite as

Environmental Impacts and Scarcity Perception Influence Local Institutions in Indigenous Amazonian Kichwa Communities

  • Johan A. Oldekop
  • Anthony J. Bebbington
  • Nathan K. Truelove
  • George Holmes
  • Santiago Villamarín
  • Richard F. Preziosi


Much of the literature on common-pool resources has focused on elucidating the social mechanisms and local institutions that lead to the regulation of common-pool resources. There is much less information about how management regimes translate into environmental impacts or how environmental impacts influence the emergence of management decisions. We use quantitative and qualitative methods to investigate the link between forest condition, agricultural change and the emergence of common-pool resource management regimes in two indigenous Kichwa communities in the Ecuadorian Amazon. We show that forest condition is linked to agricultural production and that the perception of common-pool resource scarcity influences the emergence of management regimes. We argue that population pressure, market forces and resource scarcity, which are usually associated with measures of agricultural change can also promote the emergence of common-pool resource management regimes.


Kichwa Common pool resources Institutions Biodiversity Ecuador 



We thank the communities of San José de Payamino and Chontacocha for their help and the GIZ for their GIS dataset. This work was funded by a Wingate Foundation Scholarship and a Royal Geographical Society Postgraduate Award to JAO. We thank Tom Perreault, Ari Novy, the IDPM reading group and four anonymous reviewers for helpful comments on earlier drafts of this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Johan A. Oldekop
    • 1
  • Anthony J. Bebbington
    • 2
    • 3
  • Nathan K. Truelove
    • 1
  • George Holmes
    • 4
  • Santiago Villamarín
    • 5
  • Richard F. Preziosi
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Life SciencesThe University of ManchesterManchesterUK
  2. 2.Institute of Development Policy and ManagementThe University of ManchesterManchesterUK
  3. 3.Graduate School of GeographyClark UniversityWorcesterUSA
  4. 4.School of Earth and EnvironmentUniversity of LeedsLeedsUK
  5. 5.Museo Ecuatoriano de Ciencias NaturalesQuitoEcuador

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