Ecuador

located on THE Pacific Coast of South America, Ecuador is located on the equator (from where it takes its name), and has a land area of 98,985 sq. mi. (256,370 sq. km.). It has a population of 13,850,000 (2005 est.), and a population density of 122 people per sq. mi. (47 people per sq. km.). Six percent of the land is arable, 18 percent is used for meadows and pasture, mainly for cattle and sheep, and 40 percent of the country remains forested. Hydropower generates 75 percent of its electricity, with the remainder from fossil fuels. These contribute to a relatively low rate of per capita carbon dioxide emission, 1.6 metric tons per person were generated in 1990, rising slightly to a peak of 2.2 metric tons in 1993, and falling gradually to 1.8 metric tons per person by 2003. Some 84 percent of the carbon dioxide comes from liquid fuels, with 9 percent from gas flaring, and 5 percent from the manufacture of cement. With the heavy use of hydroelectric power, electricity production only accounts for 10 percent of these emissions, with 41 percent made by the transportation sector.

While Ecuador has contributed little to cause global warming and climate change, the country has seen a rise in annual temperature by about 0.18 degrees F (0.1 degrees C) per decade since 1939, with the rate of warming doubling in the last 40 years, and tripling in the last 25 years. The effects of global warming are noticeable on the Galapagos Islands, located in the Pacific Ocean. Temperatures have risen steadily. In March/April 2002, a study showed repeated bleaching of the coral reefs, with disastrous effects on the marine environment.

The Ecuadorian government of Rodrigo Borja Cevallos ratified the Vienna Convention in 1990, and took part in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change signed in Rio de Janeiro in May 1992. In October 1997, Yolanda Kakabadse the vice president of the World Bank, and adviser to the Global Environment Facility addressed the Fifth World Bank Conference on Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development at Washington, D.C. The government of his successor, Jamil Mahuad, signed the Kyoto Protocol to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change on January 15, 1999; it was ratified on January 13, 2000, and took effect on February 16, 2005.

sEE also: Oceanic Changes; Pacific Ocean.

bibliography. C.M. Conaghan, Restructuring Ddomina-tion: Industrialists and the State in Ecuador (University of Pittsburgh Press, 1988); Dominic Hamilton, "Pocket-sized Paradise," Geographical (v.75/4, 2003); Tui de Roi, "Volcanoes: Life in the Shadow of Death," Geographical (v.74/5, 2002); World Resources Institute, "Ecuador—Climate and Atmosphere," www.earthtrends.wri.org (cited October 2007).

JUSTIN CORFIELD Geelong Grammar School, Australia

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