MAAP #48: Oil Palm Deforestation in the central Peruvian Amazon

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Image 48a. Data: UMD/GLAD

Image 48a. Data: UMD/GLAD

In MAAP #26, we presented a 2015 Deforestation Hotspots map for the Peruvian Amazon, which showed that the highest concentration of deforestation is located in the central Amazon region.

Here, we zoom in on one of these hotspots, located in the northern Huanuco region along its border with San Martin (see Inset E of Image 48a).*

We found that the main deforestation driver in this hotspot was the establishment of small- and medium-scale oil palm plantations.**

*Note that we analyzed the hotspots in Insets A-D in MAAP #26 and MAAP #37.

** We defined small-scale as less than 5 hectares, medium-scale as 5-50 hectares, and large-scale as greater than 50 hectares

Image 48b. Data: ACA, Hansen/UMD/Google/USGS/NASA

Image 48b. Data: ACA, Hansen/UMD/Google/USGS/NASA

Oil Palm Causing Deforestation

Image 48b shows our area of interest.

The San Martin side is characterized by large- and medium-scale plantations (yellow), while the Huanuco side is characterized by small- and medium-scale plantations.

Red indicates areas deforested and converted to oil palm plantations between 2010 and 2014, according to our analysis of high-resolution satellite imagery.

We estimate the deforestation of 558 hectares (1,370 acres) for establishment of oil palm plantations between 2010-2014 in northern Huanuco. Two-thirds of the plantations are medium scale (5-50 hectares) and the remaining third are small-scale (<5 hectares).***

Historical forest loss data indicates that most of the deforestation occurred in secondary forests, with a smaller percentage in primary forests.

***See MAAP #32 for more information on the importance of knowing the size of the deforestation events.

Image 48c. Data: ACA, Hansen/UMD/Google/USGS/NASA

Image 48c. Data: ACA, Hansen/UMD/Google/USGS/NASA

High-Resolution Zooms

Image 48c shows a zoom of our area of interest.

The insets indicate the areas shown below with satellite imagery from August 2009 (left panel) and October 2015 (right panel).

Each image shows the existence of forest in 2009 replaced by oil palm in 2015 (the red dot is a point of reference indicating the same spot across time).

huanucooilpalm_zoome2_engver3

Image 48d. Data: Digital Globe (Nextview)

Image 48d. Data: Digital Globe (Nextview)

huanucooilpalm_zoome4_eng

Image 48e. Data: Digital Globe (Nextview)

Citation

Finer M, Olexy T (2016) Oil Palm Deforestation in the central Peruvian Amazon. MAAP: 48.

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