Future for Amazonia: Randy Borman and Cofan environmental politics.

Future for Amazonia: Randy Borman and Cofan environmental politics. Michael Cepek.

Austin: University of Texas Press, 2012. Octavo, paperback, black and white photographs, map.

Blending ethnography with a fascinating personal story, this book is an account of a political movement that arose in the early 1990s in response to decades of attacks on the lands and peoples of eastern Ecuador, one of the world's most culturally and biologically diverse places. After generations of ruin at the hands of colonizing farmers, transnational oil companies, and Colombian armed factions, the indigenous Cofan people and their rainforest territory faced imminent jeopardy. In a surprising turn of events, the Cofan chose Randy Borman, a man of Euro-American descent, to lead their efforts to overcome the crisis that confronted them. Drawing on three years of ethnographic research, this book begins by tracing the contours of Cofan society and Borman's place within it. Borman, a blue-eyed, white-skinned child of North American missionary-linguists, was raised in a Cofan community and gradually came to share the identity of his adoptive nation. He became a global media phenomenon and forged creative partnerships between Cofan communities, conservationist organizations, Western scientists, and the Ecuadorian state. The result was a collective mobilization that transformed the Cofan nation in unprecedented ways, providing them with political power, scientific expertise, and a new role as ambitious caretakers of more than one million acres of forest. Challenging simplistic notions of identity, indigeneity, and inevitable ecological destruction. Also available in hardcover [stock id 34969].

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