Environment, Development and Sustainability (2005) 7:23 49 c Springer 2005 DOI /s POPULATION, LAND USE AND DEFORESTATION IN THE PAN AMAZON BASIN: A COMPARISON OF BRAZIL, BOLIVIA,

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Environment, Development and Sustainability (2005) 7:23 49 c Springer 2005 DOI /s POPULATION, LAND USE AND DEFORESTATION IN THE PAN AMAZON BASIN: A COMPARISON OF BRAZIL, BOLIVIA, COLOMBIA, ECUADOR, PERÚ AND VENEZUELA STEPHEN G. PERZ 1, CARLOS ARAMBURÚ 2 and JASON BREMNER 3 1 Department of Sociology, 3219 Turlington Hall, University of Florida, P.O. Box , Gainesville, FL , USA; 2 Consorcio de Investigación Económica y Social, Perú; 3 University of Michigan, USA ( author for correspondence, fax: ; tel.: , ext. 234) (Received 20 March 2003; accepted 14 November 2003) Abstract. This paper discusses the linkages between population change, land use, and deforestation in the Amazon regions of Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Perú, and Venezuela. We begin with a brief discussion of theories of population environment linkages, and then focus on the case of deforestation in the Pan Amazon. The core of the paper reviews available data on deforestation, population growth, migration and land use in order to see how well land cover change reflects demographic and agricultural change. The data indicate that population dynamics and net migration exhibit to deforestation in some states of the basin but not others. We then discuss other explanatory factors for deforestation, and find a close correspondence between land use and deforestation, which suggests that land use is loosely tied to demographic dynamics and mediates the influence of population on deforestation. We also consider national political economic contexts of Amazon change in the six countries, and find contrasting contexts, which also helps to explain the limited demographic-deforestation correspondence. The paper closes by noting general conclusions based on the data, topics in need of further research and recent policy proposals. Key words: Amazon, deforestation, land use, migration, population. 1. Introduction Over the past decade, researchers in numerous scholarly communities have turned their attention to the issues surrounding the sustainability of human occupation and deforestation in tropical forest regions such as the Amazon. Forest loss has many negative biophysical consequences including local soil erosion and runoff into rivers, endemic species loss, loss of environmental services and carbon emissions (e.g., Jordan, 1986; Fearnside, 1990; Gash et al., 1996). No less important are the negative social consequences such as land conflicts, persistent poverty and poor Readers should send their comments on this paper to: within 3 months of publication of this issue. 24 S.G. PERZ ET AL. health outcomes (e.g., Hall, 1992; Kosinski, 1992). As a result, there has emerged a literature focused on the human dimensions of deforestation (e.g., Turner et al., 1990; 1995). Pre-eminent in this literature is the role of population as a factor underlying land cover change. However, the empirical findings are mixed (e.g., Kaimowitz and Angelsen, 1998; Geist and Lambin, 2002). In the case of the Amazon, the vertiginous growth of population surely bears some implications for the rapid pace of recent land cover change. That said, closer inspection of theoretical arguments reveals many intervening factors that may alter the population deforestation link (Wood, 1992; Perz, 2001a). Identification of the role of population in prompting land cover change is further complicated by the fact that the Amazon is shared by several countries, each with their own distinct histories and political economies. As yet, there are virtually no comparative analyses of population and deforestation for the countries sharing the Amazon basin. This oversight becomes more problematic as the countries sharing the Amazon basin become more integrated by actual or planned road links, air and water-borne commerce, and gas and oil pipelines, all in the broader context of global market integration. In a global context of concern about forest loss in tropical regions such as the Amazon, careful attention must be paid to available data, for they may diverge from common theoretical expectations. Any assessment of the sustainability of ecosystem services and human livelihoods in the Amazon must recognize the importance as well as limitations of the role of demographic expansion for forest loss. This paper considers the linkages of population and deforestation in the Pan Amazon, by which we mean certain states of Brazil and five Andean countries Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Perú and Venezuela. 1 First, the paper reviews theoretical perspectives on population land cover linkages. Recent research and theory highlights the largely indirect influence of population, mediated by intervening mechanisms such as land use practices, as well as contextual differences such as national political economic structures. Second, we present the most recent available data on deforestation, population growth and composition, migration and land use in the Pan Amazon. The data allow a comparative analysis of the correspondence of population size, growth and net migration, as well as one key intervening factor, land use, with deforestation. This analysis shows limited correspondence between demographic factors and deforestation, and motivates a review of other factors that may alter the population deforestation link, highlighting contrasts in the political economic contexts of the six countries considered. The paper concludes by noting some key findings from the data presented, discussing topics related to deforestation that require further research, and reviewing recent policy proposals to mitigate deforestation. POPULATION, LAND USE AND DEFORESTATION Theory on population and the environment: the case of deforestation in the Amazon Thought on population environment interactions has many historical antecedents, but neo-malthusian and Boserupian notions are pre-eminent. Malthus (1989 [1798]) statement is among the earliest, where he argued that population growth leads to agricultural expansion and ultimately to land degradation and famine. Alternative approaches have emerged since Boserup (1965), who argued that population growth leads to sustainable land use via intensification due to technological changes. Both statements are oversimplifications because of their reliance on historical data from certain societies and specific environments, and because of their lack of attention to cultural and political factors. More recently, Bilsborrow (1987, 2002) articulated the third possibility of a demographic economic response, via migration from crowded or degraded environments to frontier zones. Since the 1980s, numerous books have been published with discussions of factors that mediate the population environment link (e.g., Davis and Bernstam, 1991; CCRP, 1993; Martine, 1993; Ness et al., 1993; Arizpe et al., 1994; Mazur, 1994; UN, 1994; Panayotou, 1996; Preston, 1996; MacKellar et al., 1998; Pebley, 1998; Torres and Costa, 2000).New theoretical work also argues that the effect of population on environments depends on many things, including a gamut of cultural and political factors as well as the scale of observation (Gibson et al., 2000; Wood, 2002). Explanations linking population to deforestation have encountered the same difficulties as broader population environmental research, namely that the relationships are not direct and invariant but are instead mediated by many other factors (e.g., Brown and Pearce, 1994; Turner et al., 1995; Sponsel et al., 1996; Kaimowitz and Angelsen, 1998). This is also the case for the Pan Amazon (e.g., Reis and Guzmán, 1991; Wood, 2002; Moran, 1993; Rudel and Horowitz, 1993; Pichón, 1997; Drigo and Marcoux, 1999; Pfaff, 1999; Wood and Skole, 1998; Perz, 2001a). During the past few decades, the Pan Amazon has experienced population growth driven by high fertility, declining mortality and in-migration. In many cases, the last of these demographic processes has been particularly intense, spurring rapid population growth in areas exhibiting new land settlement, agricultural expansion and deforestation. That said, the prototypical scenario of in-migration followed by agricultural activities and deforestation is not the only possible course of events (Wood, 1992; Perz, 2002). One alternative, involving largely urban settlement, would not directly lead to deforestation (though it may by indirect means, as by generating demand for local agricultural products). Another possibility is that in-migration ceases but agricultural expansion and deforestation continue, as might occur during periods of economic growth in consolidated areas that still have forest on properties held by migrants from past years. There is evidence that these and other alternative scenarios are proceeding alongside the rural in-migration-deforestation scenario in the Pan Amazon. 26 S.G. PERZ ET AL. The sections that follow present the most recent available data on deforestation, population change, migration and land use in the Pan Amazon. These data allow for a comparative analysis of the importance of population and mediating factors for deforestation in the basin. 3. Deforestation in the Pan Amazon Basin Table I presents deforestation estimates for the states of Brazil s Legal Amazon from 1978 to This is a government planning region that encompasses nine states and 5 million km 2. The Classical Amazon encompasses the northernmost states with more recent settlement; the Other Amazon comprises states on the southern and eastern fringes of the basin with older settlements. Deforestation estimates in this table are based on analyses of Landsat MSS and TM imagery (INPE, 2001). Deforested area as a percentage of total land area rose from 3% in 1978 to 11% in Within Brazil s Legal Amazon, deforested land area varies substantially, from pre-frontier states such as Amazonas where it is only 2% to frontier states like Rondônia, where it is 22% and rising rapidly, to old frontiers such as Maranhão, where it is over 30% and rising slowly. Average annual deforestation has changed over time, with a slight decline from the 1980s at km 2 per year, or 0.42%, to km 2 per year during the 1990s, or 0.34%. Table II allows for comparative analysis by presenting available deforestation estimates for states in the Andean Amazon countries. In Bolivia, we include the eastern lowlands as defined by Pacheco (1998: 59) to include Santa Cruz, Beni, Pando, and parts of Chiquisaca, La Paz, Cochabamba and Tarija, an area TABLE I. Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon, State Percent land area deforested a Average annual percent deforested b Total land area c Classical Amazon Acre Amapá Amazonas Pará Rondônia Roraima Other Amazon Maranhão Mato Grosso Tocantins Legal Amazon Total area deforested c Sources: Deforestation: INPE (2001) analysis of Landsat MSS and TM images; land area: IBGE (1991a: 169). a Percent deforested refers to deforested land area as a percentage of total land area, as of the year stated. b Average annual deforestation refers to net forest loss per year as a percentage of total land area. c All absolute values are given in square kilometer. POPULATION, LAND USE AND DEFORESTATION 27 TABLE II. Deforestation in the Andean Amazon, 1980s 1990s. Country, State Percent land area deforested a Average annual percent deforested b Time 1 Time 2 Land area c Bolivia Beni Pando Santa Cruz Other lowland areas d Overall percent Total area deforested c Colombia 1996 Amazonia e ND 5.0 ND Orinoquia f ND 13.9 ND Overall percent ND 8.3 ND Total area deforested ND ND Ecuador 1996 Morona-Santiago ND 25.0 ND Napo ND 16.0 ND Pastanza ND 5.0 ND Sucumbíos ND 17.0 ND Zamora-Chinchpe ND 13.0 ND Overall percent ND 15.0 ND Total area deforested ND ND Perú Amazonas Loreto Madre de Dios San Martín Ucayali Overall percent Total area deforested Venezuela Amazonas Total area deforested Sources: Bolivia: deforestation: CUMAT (1992) analysis of Landsat images, in Pacheco (1998: 57); land area: INE (1997a: 5). Colombia: MMA (nd) forest inventory, cited in DANE (1997: 1295); land area: DANE (1997: 14). Ecuador: Land area: INEC (1994: 48). Peru: INRENA (nd) forest inventory, cited in INEI (1997: 283); land area: INEI (1994: 48). Venezuela: MARNR (1997: 9 13) analysis of vegetation maps and Landsat TM images; land area: OCEI (1998: 89). a Percent deforested refers to deforested land area as a percentage of total land area, as of the year stated. b Average annual deforestation refers to net forest loss per year as a percentage of total land area. c All absolute values are given in square kilometer. d Other Bolivian provinces included here are those demarcated as the lowlands in Pacheco (1998: 59) and include Hernando Siles and Luis Calvo (Chiquisaca), Iturralde, F. Tamayo, Sud Yungas and Nor Yungas (La Paz), Chaparé and Carrasco (Cochabamba) and Gran Chaco (Tarija). e The Colombian Orinoco includes the states of Arauca, Casanare, Meta and Vichada. f The Colombian Amazon includes the states of Amazonas, Caquetá, Guainía, Guaviare, Putumayo and Vaupés. of km 2 (Pacheco, 1998: 57). The estimates presented are from analyses of Landsat TM images for the lowlands for 1985 and 1990 (CUMAT, 1992, cited in Pacheco, 1998: 57).During this time, about 700 km 2 were deforested per year, or 0.13% of the region.about km 2 (or 3.4% of the region) was deforested as of 1985, rising to (or 4.0%) in Deforestation rates 28 S.G. PERZ ET AL. and percentages were highest in Santa Cruz and lower in remote areas of the lowlands. We define the Colombian Amazon as the 10 states in the Amazon and Orinoco regions of the country, an area covering km 2 (DANE, 1997: 14). Available Colombian data do not allow for estimation of deforestation rates over time. That said, data from forestry inventories are available for 1996 at the regional level (MMA, nd, cited in DANE, 1997: 1295). In the Orinoco (Arauca, Casanare, Meta and Vichada), 14% of the forest had been cleared, while in the Amazon (Amazonas, Caquetá, Guainía, Guaviare, Putumayo and Vaupés), 5% was cleared. The Ecuadorian Oriente includes five states Morona-Santiago, Napo, Pastanza, Sucumbios and Zamora-Chinchipe which encompass km 2 (INEC, 1994: 48).According to one recent Landsat-based estimate, about 15% of Oriente land was deforested as of 1996 (Rodriguez, 2001). Deforestation is relatively high in Morona-Santiago, Napo and Sucumbíos. The lack of comparable data prevents calculation of deforestation rates in the Oriente, but Rudel and Horowitz (1993: 44) note a very high national deforestation rate of 2.3% per year during The Peruvian selva includes both the high and low forests, but these areas cut across state (department) boundaries and only state-level deforestation estimates are available, so we define the selva as the states of Amazonas, Loreto, MadredeDios,SanMartín and Ucayali, an area of km 2 (INEI, 1994: 48). 2 Perú has conducted forest inventories of the selva (INRENA, nd, cited in INEI, 1997: 283). Overall, deforestation rose from km 2 or 5.5% in 1985 to km 2 or 7.0% in 1990, implying an annual average rate of nearly 2000 km 2 or 0.29%. However, state-level estimates indicate large disparities in the extent of deforestation among departments, with Amazonas and San Martín showing 25% deforestation or more by 1990, and average annual rates around 1.0%. Finally, Venezuela s state Amazonas holds about km 2 of the Amazon. An analysis of Landsat images and vegetation maps indicates very little deforestation (MARNR, 1997: 9 13). By 1995, there was less than 1000 km 2 or 0.4% deforested, and during , the annual average deforestation was less than 50 km 2 per year, or 0.02%. The different data sources in Tables I and III make comparative analysis a risky proposition, but they do suggest contrasting patterns if we focus on interpretations of Landsat imagery. 3 Brazil has a relatively high percentage of land deforested ( 8% in 1990) and a relatively high rate ( 0.4% per year). Bolivia has lower percentages deforested ( 4% in 1990) and a modest rate ( 0.1% per year). Venezuela has a very low percentage deforested ( 0.4% by 1995) and very low rate (0.02% per year). Moreover, there is substantial variation among states within and among countries. These contrasts raise questions about how well patterns of demographic change correspond to deforestation estimates. POPULATION, LAND USE AND DEFORESTATION Population change in the Pan Amazon Basin Table III presents population estimates based on the 1980, 1991 and 2000 censuses for the states of the Brazilian Legal Amazon (see Table III for sources). Overall, the region s population has grown rapidly, from 12 million in 1980 to over 21 million in Population growth rates declined from the 1980s to the 1990s, primarily in the Classical Amazon states, especially among frontier states such as Rondônia and Pará. But due to the continued demographic expansion underway in the Brazilian Amazon, population densities reached 4 persons per km 2 by To an extent, the percentage of land area deforested reflects population density; in the late 1990s, both are highest in Maranhão, and also relatively high in Rondônia and Pará. That said, Table III also presents data on urbanization, and shows that in 2000, nearly 70% of the Brazilian Amazon s population resides in towns and cities. It is worth mentioning that again, Maranhão, Rondônia and Pará have relatively low levels of urbanization, and paired with high population densities, these figures suggest that to some degree, rural land settlement does correspond with the extent of land deforested. Table IV presents indicators of population size, growth, density and urbanization for the Andean Amazon. Figures for each country come from the last two censuses, and italicized numbers are the most recent available estimates based on projections from the last census by that country s state statistical agency (see Table IV for sources). In Bolivia, states entirely within the lowlands had 1.2 million persons in 1976 and 2.1 million in 1992, implying average annual growth at 3.7%, and yielding a population density of 3.3, 60% of it in urban areas. By 2000, the lowland states are projected to encompass 2.8 million persons. Santa Cruz emerges as the most important state, with the largest population and fastest growth, but a TABLE III. Population change, density and urbanization in states of the Brazilian Amazon, State Population Average annual percent growth, Average annual percent growth, Persons per km 2, 2000 Percent urban, 2000 Classical Amazon Acre Amapá Amazonas Pará Rondônia Roraima Other Amazon Maranhão , Mato Grosso Tocantins Legal Amazon Sources: 1980 census: IBGE (1991a: 150); 1991 census: IBGE (1991b); 2000 census: IBGE (2001); land area: IBGE (1991a: 169). 30 S.G. PERZ ET AL. TABLE IV. Population change, density and urbanization in Amazonian states of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela, early 1980s late 1990s. Country, State Population Average annual percent growth Early Early Late 1980s 1990s 1990s a Persons per km 2 Percent urban Bolivia Beni Pando Santa Cruz Other lowland areas b Total Colombia Amazon Amazonas Caquetá Guainía Guaviare Putumayo Vaupés Orinoco Arauca Casanare Meta Vichada Total Ecuador Morona-Santiago Napo Pastanza Sucumbíos Zamora-Chinchpe Total Perú Amazonas Loreto Madre de Dios , San Martín Ucayali Total Venezuela Amazonas Sources: Bolivia: 1976 and 1992 censuses: INE (1997a: 5), Pacheco (1998: ); 2000 population estimates: INE (1997b: 70 72), and for other lowland areas, extrapolation from 1992 assuming a 2.7% annual exponential growth rate (equal to the rest of the lowlands); urban populations: Pacheco (1998: ); land area: INE (1997a: 5), Pacheco (1998: 42). Colombia: 1985 and 1993 censuses: DANE/DNP (2001a); 2000 population estimates: DANE (1999: 25); land area: DANE (1997: 14). Ecuador: 1982 and 1990 censuses: CEPAR (1993: 58); 2000 population estimates: INEC (2001). Perú: 1981 and 1993 censuses: INEI (1994); 1998 p
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