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LC-02 Abstract

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

Irving Foster Brown — WHRC - Woods Hole Research Center (US-PI)
Benedita Gomes Esteves — UFAC - Universidade Federal do Acre (SA-PI)
Marcos Silveira — UFAC - Universidade Federal do Acre (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


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