An update on Ecuador’s national carbon assessment, and its relationship with protected areas and indigenous peoples




carbon, climate change, land cover, protected areas, indigenous people, Global South


Land-cover change is one of the major drivers of land degradation and associated greenhouse gas emissions. Tracking existing carbon stocks and related fluctuations is crucial to the development and employing of climate mitigation strategies. However, this cannot be properly achieved without updated datasets. In the case of the Republic of Ecuador, the most recent carbon map does not account for multiple types of carbon pools, and the most recent socio-ecological assessment of national carbon stocks is at least a decade old. Continuing to employ national policies based on such data can be limiting. In this research work, we quantified the country’s carbon stocks and examined the relationship between carbon and the distribution of protected areas and indigenous peoples. The resulting carbon map was developed using the Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs (InVEST) tool, employing the WorldCover 10-meter spatial resolution European Space Agency (ESA) product, as well as national and regional carbon values. The resulting carbon map constitutes a contribution to current efforts to update national geospatial products, in order to help inform future climate mitigation policies.

Author Biographies

  • Mayra Rodríguez González, Hartford County Extension Center, University of Connecticut, Connecticut, USA

    Mayra Rodríguez González is an Applied Urban Social Ecologist. Dr. Rodríguez partners with local agencies and organizations to improve natural resource partitioning from an equitable development and environmental justice perspective. She is currently a faculty member of the University of Connecticut's Department of Extension (USA).

  • Kevin Torres Garrido, Independent Researcher, former fellow of the Secretaría de Educación Superior, Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación, Ecuador

    Kevin Torres Garrido is a former fellow of the Secretaría de Educación Superior, Ciencia, Tecnología e Innovación of Ecuador. Torres, who obtained his bachelor's from Purdue University (IN, USA) in 2018, currently pursues research in geospatial technologies, remote sensing and Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). His work aims to promote Ecuador as a leader in geospatial research.


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