Geographic and Governmental Profile of Ecuador

Background
What is now Ecuador formed part of the northern Inca Empire until the Spanish conquest in 1533. Quito became a seat of Spanish colonial government in 1563 and part of the Viceroyalty of New Granada in 1717. The territories of the Viceroyalty - New Granada (Colombia), Venezuela, and Quito - gained their independence between 1819 and 1822 and formed a federation known as Gran Colombia. When Quito withdrew in 1830, the traditional name was changed in favor of the "Republic of the Equator." Between 1904 and 1942, Ecuador lost territories in a series of conflicts with its neighbors. A border war with Peru that flared in 1995 was resolved in 1999. Although Ecuador marked 30 years of civilian governance in 2004, the period was marred by political instability. Protests in Quito contributed to the mid-term ouster of three of Ecuador's last four democratically elected Presidents. In late 2008, voters approved a new constitution, Ecuador's 20th since gaining independence. General elections, under the new constitutional framework, were held in April 2009, and voters re-elected President Rafael CORREA.
Location
Western South America, bordering the Pacific Ocean at the Equator, between Colombia and Peru
Geographic coordinates
2 00 S, 77 30 W
Continent / Subcontinent
South America
Area
total:
283,561 sq km
rank:
74
land:
276,841 sq km
water:
6,720 sq km
includes Galapagos Islands
Area - comparative
slightly smaller than Nevada
Land boundaries
total:
2,010 km
border countries:
Colombia 590 km, Peru 1,420 km
Coastline
2,237 km
Maritime claims
territorial sea:
200 nm
continental shelf:
100 nm from 2,500-m isobath
Climate
tropical along coast, becoming cooler inland at higher elevations; tropical in Amazonian jungle lowlands
Terrain
coastal plain (costa), inter-Andean central highlands (sierra), and flat to rolling eastern jungle (oriente)
Elevation extremes
lowest point:
Pacific Ocean 0 m
highest point:
Chimborazo 6,267 m
due to the fact that the earth is not a perfect sphere and has an equatorial bulge, the highest point on the planet furthest from its center is Mount Chimborazo not Mount Everest, which is merely the highest peak above sea-level
Natural resources
petroleum, fish, timber, hydropower
Land use
arable land:
5.71%
permanent crops:
4.81%
other:
89.48% (2005)
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Irrigated land
8,650 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources
432 cu km (2000)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
total:
16.98 cu km/yr (12%/5%/82%)
per capita:
1,283 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards
frequent earthquakes; landslides; volcanic activity; floods; periodic droughts
volcanism:
volcanic activity concentrated along the Andes Mountains; Sangay (elev. 5,230 m), which erupted in 2010, is mainland Ecuador's most active volcano; other historically active volcanoes in the Andes include Antisana, Cayambe, Chacana, Cotopaxi, Guagua Pichincha, Reventador, Sumaco, and Tungurahua; Fernandina (elev. 1,476 m), a shield volcano that last erupted in 2009, is the most active of the many Galapagos volcanoes; other historically active Galapagos volcanoes include Wolf, Sierra Negra, Cerro Azul, Pinta, Marchena, and Santiago
Environment - current issues
deforestation; soil erosion; desertification; water pollution; pollution from oil production wastes in ecologically sensitive areas of the Amazon Basin and Galapagos Islands
Environment - international agreements
party to:
Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified:
none of the selected agreements
Geography - note
Cotopaxi in Andes is highest active volcano in world
Country name
conventional long form:
Republic of Ecuador
conventional short form:
Ecuador
local long form:
Republica del Ecuador
local short form:
Ecuador
Government type
republic
Capital
name:
Quito
geographic coordinates:
0 13 S, 78 30 W
time difference:
UTC-5 (same time as Washington, DC during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions
24 provinces (provincias, singular - provincia); Azuay, Bolivar, Canar, Carchi, Chimborazo, Cotopaxi, El Oro, Esmeraldas, Galapagos, Guayas, Imbabura, Loja, Los Rios, Manabi, Morona-Santiago, Napo, Orellana, Pastaza, Pichincha, Santa Elena, Santo Domingo de los Tsachilas, Sucumbios, Tungurahua, Zamora-Chinchipe
Independence
24 May 1822 (from Spain)
Constitution
20 October 2008; this is Ecuador's 20th constitution
Legal system
civil law based on the Chilean civil code with modifications
International law organization participation
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Suffrage
18-65 years of age, universal and compulsory; 16 and other eligible voters, optional
Executive branch
chief of state:
President Rafael CORREA Delgado (since 15 January 2007); Vice President Lenin MORENO Garces (since 15 January 2007); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government:
President Rafael CORREA Delgado (since 15 January 2007); Vice President Lenin MORENO Garces (since 15 January 2007)
cabinet:
Cabinet appointed by the president
elections:
the president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for a four-year term and can be re-elected for another consecutive term; election last held on 26 April 2009 (next to be held in 2013)
election results:
President Rafael CORREA Delgado reelected president; percent of vote - Rafael CORREA Delgado 52%; Lucio GUTIERREZ 28.2%; Alvaro NOBOA 11.4%; other 8.4%
Legislative branch
unicameral National Assembly or Asamblea Nacional (124 seats; members are elected through a party-list proportional representation system to serve four-year terms)
elections:
last held on 26 April 2009 (next to be held in 2013)
election results:
percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - PAIS 59, PSP 19, PSC 11, PRIAN 7, MPD 5, PRE 3, other 20; note - defections by members of National Assembly are commonplace, resulting in frequent changes in the numbers of seats held by the various parties
Judicial branch
National Court of Justice or Corte Nacional de Justicia (according to the Constitution, justices are elected through a procedure overseen by the Judiciary Council); Constitutional Court or Corte Constitucional (Constitutional Court justices are appointed by a commission composed of two delegates each from the Executive, Legislative, and Transparency branches of government)
Political parties and leaders
Alianza PAIS movement [Rafael Vicente CORREA Delgado]; Democratic Left or ID [Dalton BACIGALUPO]; Ethical and Democratic Network or RED [Martha ROLDOS]; Institutional Renewal and National Action Party or PRIAN [Vicente TAIANO]; Pachakutik Plurinational Unity Movement - New Country or MUPP-NP [Rafael ANTUNI]; Patriotic Society Party or PSP [Lucio GUTIERREZ Borbua]; Popular Democratic Movement or MPD [Luis VILLACIS]; Roldosist Party or PRE [Abdala BUCARAM Pulley, director]; Social Christian Party or PSC [Pascual DEL CIOPPO]; Socialist Party - Broad Front or PS-FA [Rafael QUINTERO]; Warrior's Spirit Movement [Jaime NEBOT]
Political pressure groups and leaders
Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador or CONAIE [Humberto CHOLANGO]; Federation of Indigenous Evangelists of Ecuador or FEINE [Manuel CHUGCHILAN, president]; National Federation of Indigenous Afro-Ecuatorianos and Peasants or FENOCIN [Luis Alberto ANDRANGO Cadena, president]; National Teacher's Union or UNE [Mariana PALLASCO]
International organization participation
CAN, CELAC, FAO, G-11, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC, LAES, LAIA, Mercosur (associate), MIGA, MINUSTAH, NAM, OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, OPEC, PCA, UN, UNAMID, UNASUR, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador Saskia Nathalie CELY Suarez
chancery:
2535 15th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone:
[1] (202) 234-7200
FAX:
[1] (202) 667-3482
consulate(s) general:
Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, New Haven, New Orleans, New York, Newark (New Jersey), Phoenix, San Francisco, San Juan (Puerto Rico)
Diplomatic representation from the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Timothy ZUNIGA-BROWN
embassy:
Avenida Avigiras E12-170 y Avenida Eloy Alfaro, Quito
mailing address:
Avenida Guayacanes N52-205 y Avenida Avigiras
telephone:
[593] (2) 398-5000
FAX:
[593] (2) 398-5100
consulate(s) general:
Guayaquil
Flag description
three horizontal bands of yellow (top, double width), blue, and red with the coat of arms superimposed at the center of the flag; the flag retains the three main colors of the banner of Gran Columbia, the South American republic that broke up in 1830; the yellow color represents sunshine, grain, and mineral wealth, blue the sky, sea, and rivers, and red the blood of patriots spilled in the struggle for freedom and justice
similar to the flag of Colombia, which is shorter and does not bear a coat of arms
National symbol(s)
Andean condor
National anthem
name:
"Salve, Oh Patria!" (We Salute You Our Homeland)
lyrics/music:
Juan Leon MERA/Antonio NEUMANE
adopted 1948; Juan Leon MERA wrote the lyrics in 1865; only the chorus and second verse are sung
Data source 1: All Above textual data, maps and flags were extracted from The World Factbook which was prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and made available on the following link: The World Factbook. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsered or affiliated, in any way, by the US Central Intelligence Agency
Data source 2: Plots and Charts are constructed using the world bank public data catalog which can be viewed by visiting the following link: World Bank Data Catalog. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsored or affiliated, in any way, by the worldbank

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