As people gradually begin to perceive the value of timber as more than just a mass consumption good (something tangible and easy to understand) and begin to understand forests as carbon reserves and providers of environmental services (neither of which is easy to measure and place a monetary value on), it becomes increasingly important for public authorities in Ecuador to be honest about the public information they have available and the decisions they take in the public interest.
We reiterate that the existence of laws is not a guarantee of transparency in itself, nor does it guarantee the dissemination of information or decision-making. On this point, civil society is an important element in promoting and encouraging compliance with the law, as it places the subject on the public agenda and organises citizen action around a series of topics related to access to information. Citizens must fulfil their role as review panels, as co-participants in the decisions taken in relation to forest management, as support for the monitoring and oversight activities implemented by the environmental authority, and reporting any cases of corruption. When all is said and done, sustainable management of forests is a shared responsibility.