Land-Use Allocation Protects the Peruvian Amazon

Department of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution of Washington, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
Science (Impact Factor: 33.61). 09/2007; 317(5842):1233-6. DOI: 10.1126/science.1146324
Source: PubMed


Disturbance and deforestation have profound ecological and socioeconomic effects on tropical forests, but their diffuse patterns are difficult to detect and quantify at regional scales. We expanded the Carnegie forest damage detection system to show that, between 1999 and 2005, disturbance and deforestation rates throughout the Peruvian Amazon averaged 632 square kilometers per year and 645 square kilometers per year, respectively. However, only 1 to 2% occurred within natural protected areas, indigenous territories contained only 11% of the forest disturbances and 9% of the deforestation, and recent forest concessions effectively protected against clear-cutting. Although the region shows recent increases in disturbance and deforestation rates and leakage into forests surrounding concession areas, land-use policy and remoteness are serving to protect the Peruvian Amazon.

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    • "Edición extraordinaria -53- comunidades científicas de investigaciones de cambios globales han recalcado la necesidad de intensificar el enfoque de estudio hacia la evaluación de la dinámica de cambios (Lambin & Geist, 2006; Turner et al., 2004; Fox et al., 2003; Oliveira et al., 2007). La estimación de áreas deforestadas y los estudios de tasas de deforestación son pasos importantes para cuantificar el valor del bosque y los servicios ecosistémicos de los bosques tropicales. "
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    ABSTRACT: Changes in land use and land cover are closely linked with the studies of deforestation rates. Amazonian regions, in particular, have experienced an increase in reports about the rates of deforestation. The Amazon rainforest have a vital role in the equilibrium of the processes of carbon cycles, water cycles and climate processes. Therefore, it is necessary to monitor areas of change and to acquire a better understanding of the drivers and agents of changes in the landscapes. Our study compares estimates of deforestation for the years 2005 and 2010 in the Abujao River basin in the Province of Coronel Portillo of the Callería District in Ucayali, Peru. This region has been exposed to several processes of increase in mining extraction activities. The study included a theoretical and field component based on the methodology developed by RAISG (Amazonian Network for Georeferenced Socioenvironmental Information) for analyzing deforestation and using the software ENVI 4.7, Arcgis 10.0 and ImgTools from IMAZON. In addition, we report detailed field validation. The results show that there is a clear relation between deforestation and mining extraction; however, additional activities have impacted land use and land cover change in the Abujao river basin.
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    • "The study region has been connected to Lima and other urban centers in the coast and mountains of Peru by a highway and networks of roads for more than six decades. It has attracted many migrants from elsewhere in Peru in recent years (Uriarte et al., 2012) and has undergone extensive land-use change and deforestation including conversion of forest to oil palm (Gutié rrez-Vé lez and DeFries, 2013; Oliveira et al., 2007). Since the early 1980s, there has been significant rural-to-urban migration, with 75% of the population living in cities as of 2007, up from 56% in 1972 (Instituto, 2009). "
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    ABSTRACT: The incidence of escaped agricultural fire has recently been increasing in the Western Amazon, driven by climate variability, land use change, and changes in patterns of residency and land occupation. Preventing and mitigating the negative impacts of fire in the Amazon require a comprehensive understanding not only of what the drivers of fire activity are, but also how these drivers interact and vary across scales. Here, we combine multi-scalar data on land use, climate, and landowner residency to disentangle the drivers of fire activity over 10 years (2001–2010) on individual landholdings in a fire-prone region of the Peruvian Amazon. We examined the relative importance of and interactions between climate variability (drought intensity), land occupation (in particular, landowner absenteeism), and land cover variables (cover of fallow and pasture) for predicting both fire occurrence (whether or not fire was detected on a farm in a given year) and fire size. Drought intensity was the most important predictor of fire occurrence, but land-cover type and degree of landowner absenteeism increased fire probability when conditions were dry enough. On the other hand, drought intensity did not stand out relative to other significant predictors in the fire size model, where degree of landowner absenteeism in a village and percent cover of fallow in a village were also strongly associated with fire size. We also investigated to what extent these variables measured at the individual landholding versus the village scale influenced fire activity. While the predictors measured at the landholding and village scales were approximately of equal importance for modeling fire occurrence, only village scale predictors were important in the model of fire size. These results demonstrate that the relative importance of various drivers of fire activity can vary depending on the scale at which they are measured and the scale of analysis. Additionally, we highlight how a full understanding of the drivers of fire activity should go beyond fire occurrence to consider other metrics of fire activity such as fire size, as implications for fire prevention and mitigation can be different depending on the model considered. Drought early warning systems may be most effective for preventing fire in dry years, but management to address the impacts of landowner absenteeism, such as bolstering community fire control efforts in high-risk areas, could help minimize the size of fires when they do occur. Thus, interventions should focus on minimizing fire size as well as preventing fires altogether, especially because fire is an inexpensive and effective management tool that has been in use for millennia.
    Global Environmental Change 03/2015; 31:144-153. DOI:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2015.01.009 · 5.09 Impact Factor
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    • "However, growing pressure on the exploitation of the Western Amazon's resources suggests that this may change and that these regions risk becoming increasingly fragmented (Finer et al. 2008; Laurance et al. 2014b; Oliveira et al. 2007). Large-scale forest damage within the Brazilian Amazon for example, has already been attributed to modern road building and policies supporting the extraction of natural resources (Oliveira et al. 2007). Whilst the expansion of large marked roads, such as the inter-oceanic highway connecting Peru and Brazil, has received much attention, an increase in small unmarked roads is just as worrying. "
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    ABSTRACT: Roads are an increasingly common feature of forest landscapes all over the world, and while information accumulates regarding the impacts of roads globally, there remains a paucity of information within tropical regions. Here we investigate the potential for biodiversity impacts from an unmarked road within a rainforest protected area in Western Amazonia. We focus on three key taxonomic groups; amphibians, butterflies and birds, each of which have been shown to be both sensitive and reliable indicators of forest disturbance. In total, 315 amphibians of 26 different species, 348 butterflies of 65 different species, 645 birds representing 77 different species were captured using mist netting and 877 bird records representing 79 different species were recorded using point counts. We provide evidence to show that the presence of a small unmarked road significantly altered levels of faunal species richness, diversity, relative abundance and community structure. This was true to a varying degree for all three taxa, up to and potentially beyond 350 m into the forest interior. Responses to the road were shown to be taxon specific. We found increasing proximity to the road had a negative effect on amphibian and understorey bird communities, whilst butterfly and overall diurnal bird communities responded positively. We show that the impact on biodiversity extends up to at least 32 % of the whole reserve area; a serious impact under any scenario. This work provides support for recently voiced calls to limit networks of unmarked roads in order to realistically and effectively preserve natural levels of tropical biodiversity.
    Biodiversity and Conservation 02/2015; DOI:10.1007/s10531-015-0883-y · 2.37 Impact Factor
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