20151024_115650Welcome to the website for Fredy R. Grefa. I am a native Kichwa-speaking person from the Ecuadorian Amazon where linguistic-ethnic-cultural groups, such as mine, are known as “nationalities.” The Amazonian territory of my ancestors is centered on the current urban site of Francisco de Orellana, known as “Coca”, in a region of Ecuador that probably has the highest biodiversity per square kilometer in the world. In my Master’s project at the Department of City and Regional Planning (DCRP) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I studied how Ecuador’s National Development Plan 2013-2017 and local plans contribute or not to strengthen the process of construction of a plurinational State and the advancement of indigenous rights.

Now, I am a Ph.D. Student (Geography) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA. Coming from different backgrounds, geology, environmental studies, land use and environmental planning, these different backgrounds sometimes push me to go to each of its directions on my analysis. Although, my intention is to have general views about issues related to indigenous peoples in the Amazonian Ecuador and advocate their voice raise and their proposals for their own existence. I want to see myself as a person who can establish a dialog, encounter or whatever you want to call it, between indigenous and non-indigenous peoples over themes of common interest and primarily advocate for the rights of indigenous peoples and self-determination objectives.

My work and research interests in political geography center on environmental planning, climate change, carbon trade, governance, plurinationality and natural resources management in Indigenous People’s territories in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Currently, I am interested to know how Payments for Ecosystem Services have been implemented in Indigenous Territories, analyzing the case of the Kichwa of the Ecuadorian Amazon, and try to identify patterns of colonialism and the negotiation process to achieve indigenous rights.

I am a member of the FICKAE (Kichwa Communities Federation of the Ecuadorian Amazon) and have worked as environmental and community affairs supervisor in private oil companies in the Ecuadorian Amazon and as Undersecretary for SENPLADES (Ecuadorian Planning Secretariat for Planning and Development) for the provinces of Pichincha, Napo and Orellana. I also, served as Director of Environmental Management at Yachay Public Company, in Imbabura-Ecuador.