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Ecuador : Indicators

2011 > 20 Key Indicators > National Land Tenure Policy

There are several bodies of legislation dealing directly or indirectly with the policy of forest tenure, such as the Law on Agricultural Development (2004) and the Special Law for Allocation of Vacant Lands in the Amazon (1974); there is, however, no document dealing exclusively with the policy on land tenure. A draft Land Law is currently under discussion. The National Institute for Agricultural Development (INDA), which traditionally deals with these issues, has been cancelled and replaced with a ministerial under-secretariat (Land Secretariat) which will manage the topic of land tenure, particularly in rural areas.

The Codified Forest Law has several articles dealing with forests, the most important of which states that “The State guarantees the right of private ownership of forest lands and private domain forests, with the limitations set out in the Constitution and the Legislation. On the question of natural forests, in lands exclusively set aside for forestry, the owner must preserve them and manage them according to the technical requirements set out in the regulations of this Law.” Something similar is mentioned in the draft Land Law, where there are stipulations concerning the regulations on property which is home to fragile ecosystems, and on the prohibition of land planning expansion which encroaches on agricultural, livestock and ecological spaces, respectively.

It is important to emphasise that the land law should guarantee tenure and offer legal security for forest owners, bearing in mind that, as an economic activity, forest use is a long-term activity. In addition, the law should contain a section which simplifies the procedures for allocation of lands. Added to this is the fact that putting into practice a process of land regularisation involves high costs, which may complicate the application of a policy of this type.

Title a. Codification of the Laws of Forests, Conservation of Natural Areas and Wildlife
b. Law of Agrarian Development
c. Special Law for the allocation of vacant lands in the Amazon
d. Final proposal of the bill for the Land Law
Organisation Ministry of Environment
Date a. 10 September 2004
b. Promulgated in 1994, codified 16 April 2004
c. 17 February 1972
Source a. http://www.ambiente.gov.ec/ R.O No 418, Quito.
b. Access through pay for search engine Lexis, R.O No 315, Quito.
c. It is only possible to access through the pay for search engine Lexis R.O No 2.
d. Through the pay for search engine Lexis.
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