MVP Sustainability Map
GDP Per Capita
Cancillería Ecuador; License CC BY-SA 2.0; Image https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:CAMPA%C3%91A_LA_MANO_SUCIA_DE_CHEVRON_-_11532358094.jpg via Wikimedia Commons.
M M; License CC BY-SA 2.0; Image https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gal%C3%A1pagos_Inseln,_Ecuador_(13899343411).jpg via Wikimedia Commons.
Fährtenleser; License CC BY-SA 4.0; Image https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pipeline_an_der_E10,_Ecuador.jpg via Wikimedia Commons.
Ecuador has been trending negatively toward a deficit in its carrying capacity the past half century. The population increase over the past 50 years has been the primary driver of this trend to unsustainability. Fortunately fertility rates have declined from 6 ½ children per mother in 1970 to just under 2 ½ children today. Ecuador is currently sustainable, but with the population growing at 270,000 more citizens every year the country is expected to exceed its carrying capacity by 2030 without more drastic reduction in births.
Ecuador is the first country to recognize Rights of Nature in its Constitution. Rather than treating nature as property under the law, Rights for Nature articles acknowledge that nature in all its life forms has the right to exist, persist, maintain and regenerate its vital cycles. Even with a focus on the importance of nature, serious environmental issues arise frequently, such as in 2020 when the Shushufindi river was poisoned by a massive pesticide runoff from nearby African palm plantations, decimating local fish stocks. Three weeks later, a devastating rupture of the country’s biggest oil pipelines spilled crude oil into the Napo river, a tributary of the Amazon, leaving dozens of indigenous villages and tens of thousands of peoples without access to clean water.
Ecuadorian society values the patriarchal, nuclear family with delineated gender roles. In most families, women are not allowed to work and completely depend on their husbands financially. Most men dictate what women can and cannot do, which tends to include the expectation that women should stay at home, tend to the housework and raise children. Even young women who receive an education usually leave their studies or jobs after marriage.