LC-02 Abstract

Land-Cover/Land-Use Change and Carbon Dynamics in an Expanding Frontier in Western Amazonia: Acre, Brazil

Irving Foster Brown, WHRC-UFAC (US-PI)
Benedita Gomes Esteves, Federal University of Acre (SA-PI)
Marcos Silveira, UnB (SA-PI

Southwestern Amazonia of Brazil, Bolivia, and Peru, an area of about 1.5 million km2, has shifted from being the hinterland to the forefront of development in the Amazon Basin.  Major highways will soon traverse this region, linking it to Pacific Rim economies. Madre de Dios Department, Peru, eastern Acre State, Brazil, and Pando Department, Bolivia—the MAP region of about 200,000 km2—constitute the heart of southwestern Amazonia and the research site for this proposal. Recent public policy decisions have the potential of dramatically changing land use and land cover in the region.  Existing data, however, are inadequate to decipher such change. We propose to conduct calibration and accuracy assessments of several factors associated with such changes: 1) Validation of fire pixel data from GOES/AVHRR/MODIS imagery. This comparison will serve not only for Acre, but will also provide a calibrated GOES half-hourly fire data set for the period of 1998 to 2005 for all of Amazonia; 2) Deforestation estimates of PRODES/INPE, of other state and federal agencies, and of LBA research for the MAP region. Such comparisons at validation sites will permit accuracy assessments of current and past deforestation data for Amazonia; 3) Estimates of the rapidly growing logging activity in the MAP region. This will include extensive fieldwork and permit comparison with remote-sensing-based estimates of forest canopy opened by logging; 4) Demographic and economic data in the tri-frontier municipalities. We will conduct sensitivity analysis of these data coupled with high-resolution imagery of growing urban centers along the frontier for validation; 5) Preliminary analysis of energy resources in southwestern Amazonia; and 6) Participatory Scenario Planning that will provide new information as to the aspirations of local and regional societies. 

The above information will also provide data for a case study of Pan-Amazon modeling of plausible scenarios for land use in the region.  We have collaborators from all three countries and a history of developing the regional scientific community on land use and land cover change. We will continue to expand collaboration with state and municipal governments in Acre State and to develop complementary activities with Bolivian and Peruvian universities and institutions on land use and global change.  Our program will strengthen the only graduate program on natural resource management in lowland southwestern Amazonia and advance our goal to help educate Amazonian researchers in land use.  We intend to integrate LBA results into regional education systems so that the results of LBA will help Amazonian societies decide how they wish to develop the region.