In Latin America countries, competition for access to natural resources among different groups has been a major reason for the outburst of violence over the last decades. One of the main aims of the political ecology concerns the understanding of the environmental conditions that can underlies the social conflict among people. Such understanding needs to be based on a detailed investigation of the natural resources of the landscape, mainly the soils. Few years ago the Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs financed a soil survey with a humanitarian purpose: the development of a peace plan between Peru and Ecuador by improving the socio-economic conditions of the rural populations living in the areas close to the border. To achieve such goal, the construction of an irrigation canal was planned to irrigate few hundred hectares in the province of Ayabaca, on the border between Peru and Ecuador. To be soundly planned and designed, the canal project was obviously based on a preliminary soil survey that is essential to assess the irrigation suitability of the land. In this work, the authors illustrate the soil characteristics within the study area, their suitability for irrigation and the key aspects for future land uses, highlighting the philosophy followed in applying the land evaluation system which took into consideration the social, cultural and humanitarian purposes of the soil survey. Results proved the feasibility of the financed project and the potential increase of the living conditions of the rural people.
Authors and Publishers
Lo Papa, Giuseppe
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