Globally and nationally, corporations, states, and social movements are key social actors in initiatives to overcome deforestation through sustainable development projects. In Chile in the early 1990s, the Trillium Corporation of Bellingham, WA, US proposed but, after what amounted to a 13-year dispute, failed to develop the innovative Rio Condor sustainable forestry project to extract timber and foster socio-economic development in Tierra del Fuego. Based on my analysis of findings from participant observation, reports, secondary data, and 40 interviews that included representatives from Trillium, the Chilean government, environmental organizations, media and forest industry, it became evident that these key actors adapted and resisted socially constructed ideas of sustainable development and of environmentalism. In addition, the importance in recognizing ecological limits, regardless of one's take on environmentalism for socioeconomic development become evident along with revealing important lessons in the process of developing sustainability.
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Thesis advisor: Gates, Marilyn
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