Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Rain Forest Protection Works In Peru

Date:
August 15, 2007
Source:
Carnegie Institution
Summary:
A new regional study shows that land-use policies in Peru have been key to tempering rain forest degradation and destruction in that country. Scientists analyzed seven years of high-resolution satellite data covering most (79 percent) of the Peruvian Amazon for their findings.

This Carnegie Landsat Analysis System image shows a region of the Peruvian rain forest (green). Blue and red indicate areas of deforestation.
Credit: Images courtesy the Asner Lab, Department of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution

A new regional study shows that land-use policies in Peru have been key to tempering rain forest degradation and destruction in that country. Scientists at the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology led an international effort to analyze seven years of high-resolution satellite data covering most (79%) of the Peruvian Amazon for their findings. The work is published in the August 9, 2007, on-line edition of Science Express.

The scientists found that the government's program of designating specific regions for legal logging, combined with protection of other forests, and the establishment of territories for indigenous peoples helped keep large-scale rain forest damage in check between the years 1999 and 2005. However, the research also showed an increase in forest disturbance over the last couple of years of the study, primarily in two areas of the jungle where the forests are accessible by roads.

"We found that only 1 to 2 % of this disturbance in Peru happened in natural protected areas," noted lead author Paulo Oliveira. "However, there was substantial forest disturbance adjacent to areas set aside for legal logging operations. This leakage of human activity outside of logging concessions is a concern."

Peru has about 255,000 square miles of tropical forests--an area a little larger than France. In 2001, the Peruvian government placed 31% of the managed forests into "permanent resource production." By 2005, a region about the size of Honduras (about 40,000 sq. miles)--was put into long-term commercial timber production. In recent years, the rain forests have been experiencing increased human impacts, as they have in neighboring Amazon countries, but the extent of the damage over the region has not been thoroughly assessed using high spatial resolution satellite data until this study.

The scientists used the Carnegie Landsat Analysis System (CLAS) in their work. It was formerly used in Brazil to detect logging activities there. CLAS is a satellite-based forest-damage detection system, which can penetrate the shielding upper layers of forest leaves to see consequences of logging activities below. The CLAS system can uncover forest changes at a resolution of less than 100 by 100 ft. The core process behind CLAS is an advanced signal processing approach developed by study lead Greg Asner.

"Our approach has improved over the past eight years, but relies on a core set of methods that have consistently worked," Asner said. "We spent years developing them in Brazil, then went to Peru and completed this study in only a year. We are now operating over Borneo. Our approach is proving a good way to monitor rain forest disturbance and deforestation anywhere in the world."

The researchers found that, between 1999 and 2005, disturbance and deforestation rates averaged only 244 square miles and 249 square miles per year respectively. About 86% of the damaged Peruvian areas were concentrated in two regions--in the Madre de Dios, east of Cuzco, and in the central eastern part of the country near Pucallpa. Most of the rain forest damage--75%--was found within 12.5 miles (20 km) of the nearest roads. However, even within those limits, forests set aside by the government were more than 4 times better protected than areas not designated for conservation.

"This is another study from the Carnegie group showing the world how tropical forests can be systematically monitored amazingly quickly and at a reasonable cost." said Michael Wright of The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, which helped support the research. "I foresee that CLAS-like satellite analysis systems will become the standards routinely used by local conservation agencies to track rain forest disturbances and deforestation in the future."

This work was made possible by grants from The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Carnegie Institution. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Carnegie Institution. "Rain Forest Protection Works In Peru." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 August 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070809172336.htm>.
Carnegie Institution. (2007, August 15). Rain Forest Protection Works In Peru. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070809172336.htm
Carnegie Institution. "Rain Forest Protection Works In Peru." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070809172336.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Explore Shipwrecks Off Calif. Coast

Researchers Explore Shipwrecks Off Calif. Coast

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Federal researchers are exploring more than a dozen underwater sites where they believe ships sank in the treacherous waters west of San Francisco in the decades following the Gold Rush. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Conservationists Face Uphill PR Battle With New Shark Rules

Conservationists Face Uphill PR Battle With New Shark Rules

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) New conservation measures for shark fishing face an uphill PR battle in the fight to slow shark extinction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pakistan's 'killer Mountain' Fails to Draw Tourists After Attack

Pakistan's 'killer Mountain' Fails to Draw Tourists After Attack

AFP (Sep. 12, 2014) In June 2013, 10 foreign mountaineers and their guide were murdered on Nanga Parbat, an iconic peak that stands at 8,126m tall in northern Pakisan. Duration: 02:34 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins