A team of scientist from The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) have published an article in the open journal Diversity titled “Land and Forest Degradation inside Protected Areas in Latin America”
Figure 1. 2004-2009 Proportion of protected areas with land and forest degradation by country
Using six years of remote sensing data (Terra-i outputs), the team estimated land and forest degradation inside 1788 protected areas across 19 countries in Latin America (Figure 1). From 2004–2009, the rate of land and forest degradation increased by 250% inside the protected areas, and the land and forest degradation totalled 1,097,618 hectares. Of the protected areas in the analysed dataset, 45% had land and forest degradation. There were relatively large variations by major habitat type, with flooded grasslands/savannas and moist broadleaf forest protected areas having the highest rates of degradation.
No association was found between a country’s rate of land and forest degradation inside protected areas and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita, GDP growth, or rural population density. Significant, but weak, associations were found between the rate of land and forest degradation inside protected areas and a country’s protected area system funding, the size of the protected area, and one International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) management category. The results suggest a high degree of heterogeneity in the variables impacting land and forest degradation inside protected areas in Latin America, but that the targeting of protected area investments on a continental scale is plausible.
Read the full paper here: http://www.mdpi.com/1424-2818/5/4/779
The Terra-i team has worked hard on renovating Terra-i’s website since early this year. A set of new features on the website provides interactive contents and facilitates adaptation to the mobile devices of our users. The fresh website was developed using the latest update of an open-source, Java-based web system, Magnolia CMS 5.4.4. This update was customized to add different categories of interaction such as news, vegetation cover changes, and information, among others.
Globally more than 1 billion people depend on forests for their livelihoods. Forests play a crucial role in climate regulation, ecosystem services provision and regulation, water supply, carbon storage and many other functions that support biodiversity. Currently the global rate of deforestation is substantial, and there is a growing need for timely, spatially explicit data that flag natural vegetation changes due to human activities.
The latest update of Terra-i has been used with the Co$ting Nature ecosystem services assessment tool to understand the impacts of recent forest loss in Colombia on biodiversity and ecosystem services.
During the 1st and 12th of June 2015, the Terra-i team, together with the Instituto de Investigaciones de la Amazonía Peruana (IIAP) and the Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina (VLIR-UNALM), conducted the second field validation of the data produced by the Terra-I system. This time, the study area was the Yurimaguas district, Alto Amazonas province, Loreto region (Peru). We used information on populated places, main roads, rivers and information on land cover changes detected for 2013, 2014 and 2015 to define the 65 sampling points (or Terra-I pixels) for the validation process (Figure 1).