Ecuador | Labor dispute or wholesale firings? Ministry move leaves country's rangers in limbo

Instability and financial crisis wrought by COVID-19 have reached the national parks of Ecuador. On June 20, the Association of Park Rangers of Ecuador (AGE) sent a letter to the minister of environment and water, Paulo Arturo Proaño, asking him to reinstate 193 rangers, specialists and area chiefs who were dismissed the day before.

The workers, from the National System of Protected Areas (SNAP), are considered essential for the conservation of the most biodiverse terrestrial, marine and coastal ecosystems in the country. Without them, national parks and marine reserves — including iconic sites like Yasuní National Park or Galápagos Marine Reserve — would be left without specialized keepers.

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