Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Rain forest protection works in Peru

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.”

Gregory Asner | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide

nachricht Malaysia's unique freshwater mussels in danger
27.09.2016 | The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel light sources made of 2D materials

Physicists from the University of Würzburg have designed a light source that emits photon pairs. Two-photon sources are particularly well suited for tap-proof data encryption. The experiment's key ingredients: a semiconductor crystal and some sticky tape.

So-called monolayers are at the heart of the research activities. These "super materials" (as the prestigious science magazine "Nature" puts it) have been...

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Prototype device for measuring graphene-based electromagnetic radiation created

28.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Gamma ray camera offers new view on ultra-high energy electrons in plasma

28.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

When fat cells change their colour

28.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>