MAAP #133: Deforestation Continues in National Parks of Colombian Amazon

Download PDF of this article >>

Base Map. Deforestation 2020-21 in the National Parks of the Colombian Amazon. Data: MAAP.

As we have indicated in previous reports (MAAP #120), there is an “arc of deforestation” in the northwest Colombian Amazon, impacting numerous protected areas and indigenous reserves.

Here, we emphasize that this deforestation currently impacts four National Parks: Tinigua, Macarena, Chiribiquete and La Paya.

In the Base Map, the red circles indicate the areas most impacted by recent deforestation within these parks.

The letters (A-D) indicate the location of the high-resolution satellite images (Planet) below.

While Tinigua and Macarena continue as the most impacted National Parks, below we focus on the new deforestation fronts in Chiribiquete and La Paya.

Specifically, we show the most recent and urgent deforestation, since September 2020 to the present (February 2021).

Chiribiquete National Park

Chiribiquete National Natural Park lost more than 1,000 hectares (2,500 acres) in the last six months, in six different areas of the park (see Base Map above). Much of this deforestation appears to be associated with the conversion of primary forest to illegal cattle pasture. The following satellite images show deforestation in three of these areas (A-C) between September 2020 (left panel) and February 2021 (right panel). *It is important to note that immediately prior to this publication authorities carried out a major intervention to crack down on the illegal activity within the park (see news here).

Image A. Deforestation in Chiribiquete National Park, western sector 1. Reference coordinate: 1.05497 ° N, 74.26465 ° W. Data: Planet, MAAP.

Image B. Deforestation in Chiribiquete National Park, western sector 2. Reference coordinate: 1.57990 ° N, 73.78689 ° W. Data: Planet, MAAP.

Image C. Deforestation in Chiribiquete National Park, northern sector 1. Reference coordinate: 2.00975, -73.45541. Data: Planet, MAAP.

La Paya National Park

La Paya National Park lost more than 150 hectares (370 acres) in the last six months, in the northwest sector of the park (see Base Map above).
.
The following image shows an example of deforestation in this sector of the park between September 2020 (left panel) and January 2021 (right panel).

Image D. Deforestation in La Paya National Park, northern sector. Reference coordinate: 0.39677 ° N, 75.48505 ° W. Data: Planet, MAAP.

Fire Season

In addition, the fire season has started in the Colombian Amazon. Interestingly, now (February to March) is typically Colombia’s peak deforestation and fire season, in contrast with Brazil, Bolivia, and Peru, whose seasons peak between June and October.
l
The following very high-resolution images (Skyat) reveal the burning of recently deforested areas within Chiribiquete National Park.

Fire inside Chiribuete National Park (February 11, 2021) burning recently deforested areas. Data: Planet (Skysat).

Zoom of fire inside Chiribuete National Park (February 11, 2021) burning recently deforested areas. Data: Planet (Skysat).

Acknowledgmens

We thank R. Botero (FCDS) and G. Palacios for their helpful comments on this report.

This work was supported by NORAD (Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation) and ICFC (International Conservation Fund of Canada).

Citation

Finer M, Mamani N (2021) Deforestation Continues in National Parks of Colombian Amazon. MAAP: 133.

Download PDF of this article >>

MAAP