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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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ARTICLE
Year : 2010  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 157-170

Deforestation drivers in Southwest Amazonia: Comparing smallholder farmers in Iñapari, Peru, and Assis Brasil, Brazil


1 Department of Anthropology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA;Department of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford, CA, USA
2 Department of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford, CA;Department of Biology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA
3 Center for Latin American Studies, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA
4 Department of Sociology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA
5 Department of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford, CA, USA

Correspondence Address:
Angelica M Almeyda Zambrano
Department of Anthropology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA;Department of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford, CA
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0972-4923.73805

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Broad interpretation of land use and forest cover studies has been limited by the biophysical and socio-economic uniqueness of the landscapes in which they are carried out and by the multiple temporal and spatial scales of the underlying processes. We coupled a land cover change approach with a political ecology framework to interpret trends in multi-temporal remote sensing of forest cover change and socio-economic surveys with smallholders in the towns of Iñapari, Peru and Assis Brasil, Brazil in southwest Amazonia. These adjacent towns have similar biogeophysical conditions, but have undergone differing development approaches, and are both presently undergoing infrastructure development for the new Interoceanic highway. Results show that forest cover patterns observed in these two towns cannot be accounted for using single land use drivers. Rather, deforestation patterns result from interactions of national and regional policies affecting financial credit and road infrastructure, along with local processes of market integration and household resources. Based on our results we develop recommendations to minimise deforestation in the study area. Our findings are relevant for the sustainability of land use in the Amazon, in particular for regions undergoing large-scale infrastructure development projects.


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