Recent scientific publication about Land degradation inside protected areas based on Terra-i data

Louis Reymondin

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:

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