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Research Seminar:'Indigenous Rights&Oil Development:Looking at The Yasuní Initiative through the lens of Phronesis' Dr Laura Rival

DEV Seminar,

20th February


Arts 01.02 

Dr. Laura Rival, Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Oxford.  

Indigenous Rights and Oil Development: Looking at The Yasuní Initiative through the lens of Phronesis.

The grassroots agro-ecological project, the Yasuni Initiative in Ecuador can be seen as a possible alternative to REDD. Dr Rival examines

the Yasuni Initiative through the lens of ‘practical wisdom’.

Dr Rival’s main research and teaching focuses on Amerindian conceptualizations of nature and society; historical and political ecology; environment and development.  Her anthropological research over the last two decades has been concerned with understanding society and culture Huaorani Indians of Amazonian Ecuador within a comparative framework.The forests where the Huaorani, Chachi and Makushi live have been subjected to unprecedented rates of deforestation in the last thirty years, and large biodiversity conservation programmes were put in place in the 1990s to save remaining forests and protect both local ecosystems and indigenous rights. She studied ethnographically the implementation of a large integrated conservation and development programme in the Ecuadorian Chocó, one of the world’s biodiversity ‘hotspots,’ and analyzed the competing sustainable development discourses and new regimes of governmentality that emerged during that heroic decade. Her research interests today are concerned with developing theoretically oriented reflection on sustainability as value, as well as documenting ethnographically various indigenous visions of social justice and ecological restoration. She is also actively involved in providing a social anthropological perspective on the emergence of a ‘green economy’.