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The Ecuadorian Outsourced National Forest Control System

Research reports

To improve the public administration and control of timber production in its biodiversity-rich forests, in 2000 Ecuador implemented the development of an innovative scheme: the Outsourced National Forest Control System. The system was based on three components: (i) Vigilancia Verde, a government-civil society body responsible for policing the road transport of forest products; (ii) the Regentes Forestales, professional foresters with public responsibility for monitoring legality in the forest; and (iii) the outsourcing to a private company of administrative and verification services. The innovation and early achievements of this system attracted worldwide attention but, in 2002, the implementation of the third component engendered fierce opposition within the country. In October 2003, Ecuador’s Constitutional Tribunal ruled against the component, leading to its suspension and the overall weakening of the system. This paper describes the contextual factors that led to the development of the Outsourced National Forest Control System, its specific legislation and architecture, and the main reasons for its fall.

Guillermo Navarro, Filippo Del Gatto and Martin Schroeder