Imazon Amazon Institute of People and the Environment

Belém, Brazil

Imazon Amazon Institute of People and the Environment

Belém, Brazil
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Reiche J.,Wageningen University | Souzax C.M.,Imazon Amazon Institute of People and the Environment | Hoekman D.H.,Wageningen University | Verbesselt J.,Wageningen University | And 2 more authors.
IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing | Year: 2013

Many tropical countries suffer from persistent cloud cover inhibiting spatially consistent reporting of deforestation and forest degradation for REDD+. Data gaps remain even when compositing Landsat-like optical satellite imagery over one or two years. Instead, medium resolution SAR is capable of providing reliable deforestation information but shows limited capacity to identify forest degradation. © 2008-2012 IEEE.

Barlow J.,Lancaster University | Parry L.,Lancaster University | Gardner T.A.,Lancaster University | Gardner T.A.,University of Cambridge | And 7 more authors.
Biological Conservation | Year: 2012

Fires are increasingly responsible for forest degradation in the humid tropics due to the expansion of fire-dependent agriculture, fragmentation, intensive logging practices and severe droughts. However, these forest fires have been largely overlooked by negotiations for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+). This paper examines how forest fires affect REDD+ schemes by compromising carbon permanence; undermining the potential of sustainable forest management and reforestation and regeneration activities in tropical countries; and threatening the additional benefits that can be accrued from REDD+, including biodiversity conservation and rural poverty alleviation. Narrowly focusing on avoiding deforestation, the sustainable management of forests or regeneration schemes will not always guarantee protection from fire occurrence, and investments in tropical forests may ultimately fail to achieve long-term emission reductions unless they also reduce the risk of forest fires. Integrating forest fire reduction into REDD+ presents many challenges, requiring: changes in agricultural practices that take place outside of the remaining forests; the monitoring and prediction of spatio-temporal patterns of forest fires across whole biomes; guarantees of additionality; avoiding leakage of fire-dependent agriculture; ensuring that responsibilities for fire management are fairly distributed; protection for rural livelihoods; and that any new activities result in positive outcomes for local people. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Rosa I.M.D.,Imperial College London | Purves D.,Microsoft | Souza Jr. C.,Imazon Amazon Institute of People and the Environment | Ewers R.M.,Imperial College London
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Tropical forests are diminishing in extent due primarily to the rapid expansion of agriculture, but the future magnitude and geographical distribution of future tropical deforestation is uncertain. Here, we introduce a dynamic and spatially-explicit model of deforestation that predicts the potential magnitude and spatial pattern of Amazon deforestation. Our model differs from previous models in three ways: (1) it is probabilistic and quantifies uncertainty around predictions and parameters; (2) the overall deforestation rate emerges "bottom up", as the sum of local-scale deforestation driven by local processes; and (3) deforestation is contagious, such that local deforestation rate increases through time if adjacent locations are deforested. For the scenarios evaluated-pre- and post-PPCDAM ("Plano de Ação para Proteção e Controle do Desmatamento na Amazônia")-the parameter estimates confirmed that forests near roads and already deforested areas are significantly more likely to be deforested in the near future and less likely in protected areas. Validation tests showed that our model correctly predicted the magnitude and spatial pattern of deforestation that accumulates over time, but that there is very high uncertainty surrounding the exact sequence in which pixels are deforested. The model predicts that under pre-PPCDAM (assuming no change in parameter values due to, for example, changes in government policy), annual deforestation rates would halve between 2050 compared to 2002, although this partly reflects reliance on a static map of the road network. Consistent with other models, under the pre-PPCDAM scenario, states in the south and east of the Brazilian Amazon have a high predicted probability of losing nearly all forest outside of protected areas by 2050. This pattern is less strong in the post-PPCDAM scenario. Contagious spread along roads and through areas lacking formal protection could allow deforestation to reach the core, which is currently experiencing low deforestation rates due to its isolation. © 2013 Rosa et al.

Rosa I.M.D.,Imperial College London | Souza Jr. C.,Imazon Amazon Institute of People and the Environment | Ewers R.M.,Imperial College London
Conservation Biology | Year: 2012

Different deforestation agents, such as small farmers and large agricultural businesses, create different spatial patterns of deforestation. We analyzed the proportion of deforestation associated with different-sized clearings in the Brazilian Amazon from 2002 through 2009. We used annual deforestation maps to determine total area deforested and the size distribution of deforested patches per year. The size distribution of deforested areas changed over time in a consistent, directional manner. Large clearings (>1000 ha) comprised progressively smaller amounts of total annual deforestation. The number of smaller clearings (6.25-50.00 ha) remained unchanged over time. Small clearings accounted for 73% of all deforestation in 2009, up from 30% in 2002, whereas the proportion of deforestation attributable to large clearings decreased from 13% to 3% between 2002 and 2009. Large clearings were concentrated in Mato Grosso, but also occurred in eastern Pará and in Rondônia. In 2002 large clearings accounted for 17%, 15%, and 10% of all deforestation in Mato Grosso, Pará, and Rondônia, respectively. Even in these states, where there is a highly developed agricultural business dominated by soybean production and cattle ranching, the proportional contribution of large clearings to total deforestation declined. By 2009 large clearings accounted for 2.5%, 3.5%, and 1% of all deforestation in Mato Grosso, Pará, and Rondônia, respectively. These changes in deforestation patch size are coincident with the implementation of new conservation policies by the Brazilian government, which suggests that these policies are not effectively reducing the number of small clearings in primary forest, whether these are caused by large landholders or smallholders, but have been more effective at reducing the frequency of larger clearings. © 2012 Society for Conservation Biology.

Gibbs H.K.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | Munger J.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | L'Roe J.,University of Wisconsin - Madison | Barreto P.,IMAZON Amazon Institute of People and the Environment | And 4 more authors.
Conservation Letters | Year: 2016

New supply chain interventions offer promise to reduce deforestation from expansion of commercial agriculture, as more multinational companies agree to stop sourcing from farms with recent forest clearing. We analyzed the zero-deforestation cattle agreements signed by major meatpacking companies in the Brazilian Amazon state of Pará using property-level data on beef supply chains. Our panel analysis of daily purchases by slaughterhouses before and after the agreements demonstrates that they now avoid purchasing from properties with deforestation, which was not the case prior to the agreements. Supplying ranchers registered their properties in a public environmental registry nearly 2 years before surrounding non-supplying properties, and 85% of surveyed ranchers indicated that the agreements were the driving force. In addition, supplying properties had significantly reduced deforestation rates following the agreements. Our results demonstrate important changes in the beef supply chain, but the agreements' narrow scope and implementation diminish outcomes for forest conservation. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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