Fires in protected areas reveal unforeseen costs of Colombian peace

Abstract

Armed conflict, and its end, can have powerful effects on natural resources, but the influence of war and peace on highly biodiverse tropical forests remains disputed. We found a sixfold increase in fires in protected areas across biodiversity hotspots following guerrilla demobilization in Colombia, and a 52% increase in the probability of per-pixel deforestation within parks for 2018. Peace requires urgent shifts to include real-time forest monitoring, expand programmes to pay for ecosystem services at the frontier, integrate demobilized armed groups as staff of protected areas, and establish a domestic market for frontier deforestation permits.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

Fig. 1: Fire occurrence in Colombia.
Fig. 2: Modelled probability and recorded deforestation.

Data availability

Data associated with this paper have been deposited in the Dryad digital repository at https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.8nc8480.

References

  1. 1.

    Baptiste, B. et al. Nat. Ecol. Evol. 1, 0102 (2017).

  2. 2.

    Acuerdo Final Para la Terminación del Conflicto y la Construcción de Una Paz Estable y Duradera (Government of Colombia, 2016); http://www.altocomisionadoparalapaz.gov.co/procesos-y-conversaciones/Documentos%20compartidos/24-11-2016NuevoAcuerdoFinal.pdf

  3. 3.

    Clerici, N. et al. Science 354, 190–191 (2016).

  4. 4.

    Álvarez, M. D. J. Sustain. For. 16, 47–68 (2003).

  5. 5.

    Álvarez, M. D. Environmentalist 21, 305–315 (2001).

  6. 6.

    Hanson, T. et al. Conserv. Biol. 23, 578–587 (2009).

  7. 7.

    Baumann, M. & Kuemmerle, T. J. Land Use Sci. 11, 672–688 (2016).

  8. 8.

    Daskin, J. H. & Pringle, R. M. Nature 553, 328–332 (2018).

  9. 9.

    McNeely, J. A. Oryx 37, 142–152 (2003).

  10. 10.

    Walter, B. F. Annu. Rev. Polit. Sci. 20, 469–486 (2017).

  11. 11.

    Armenteras, D., Espelta, J. M., Rodríguez, N. & Retana, J. Glob. Environ. Change 46, 139–147 (2017).

  12. 12.

    Armenteras, D., Barreto, J. S., Tabor, K., Molowny-Horas, R. & Retana, J. Biogeosciences 14, 2755–2765 (2017).

  13. 13.

    Aragão, L. E. O. et al. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B 363, 1779–1785 (2008).

  14. 14.

    Armenteras, D., Gibbes, C., Anaya, J. A. & Dávalos, L. M. Ecol. Appl. 27, 1294–1304 (2017).

  15. 15.

    Cochrane, M. A. & Barber, C. P. Glob. Change Biol. 15, 601–612 (2009).

  16. 16.

    Cochrane, M. A. Nature 421, 913–919 (2003).

  17. 17.

    Armenteras, D., Gibbes, C., Anaya, J. A. & Dávalos, L. M. Ecol. Appl. 27, 1294–1304 (2017).

  18. 18.

    Hansen, M. C. et al. Science 342, 850–853 (2013).

  19. 19.

    Aragão, L. E. O. C. & Shimabukuro, Y. E. Science 328, 1275–1278 (2010).

  20. 20.

    Dávalos, L. M., Holmes, J. S., Rodríguez, N. & Armenteras, D. Biol. Conserv. 170, 64–73 (2014).

  21. 21.

    Borras, S. M., Franco, J. C., Gómez, S., Kay, C. & Spoor, M. J. Peasant Stud. 39, 845–872 (2012).

  22. 22.

    Salgar, A. M. H. & Cárdenas, L. M. M. in The 21st Century Fight for the Amazon (ed. Ungar, M.) 115–130 (Springer, Cham, 2018).

  23. 23.

    Graesser, J., Aide, T. M., Grau, H. R. & Ramankutty, N. Environ. Res. Lett. 10, 034017 (2015).

  24. 24.

    Informe Ejecutivo Sobre el Seguimiento a los Programas de Familias Guardabosques y Proyectos Productivos: Monitoreo, Seguimiento y Evaluación al Desarrollo Alternativo en Colombia (Agencia Presidencial para la Acción Social y la Cooperación Internacional and Oficina de las Naciones Unidas contra la Droga y el Delito, 2013); https://www.unodc.org/documents/colombia/2013/Agosto/DA2013/Informe_ejecutivo_2007_espanol.pdf.

  25. 25.

    Parques Nacionales Naturales de Colombia (Unidad Administrativa Especial del Sistema de Parques Nacionales Naturales, 2018); http://www.parquesnacionales.gov.co/portal/es/servicio-al-ciudadano/datos-abiertos/

  26. 26.

    Wade, L. Science 360, 368–373 (2018).

  27. 27.

    R Development Core Team R: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing (R Foundation for Statistical Computing, 2018).

Download references

Acknowledgements

D.A. is supported by NAS Subaward Letter number 2000007526. L.S. is a Fulbright Distinguished Chair in Biodiversity and Sustainable Development. L.M.D. is supported in part by NSF-DGE 1633299. We acknowledge the use of data and imagery from LANCE FIRMS, operated by the NASA/GSFC/Earth Science Data and Information System, with funding provided by NASA/HQ. We also acknowledge the use of imagery from the Image Collections LANDSAT/LC08/C01/T1_SR and COPERNICUS/S2, accessible through Google Earth Engine. Finally, we thank S. Barreto for his technical assistance with Google Earth Engine and J. Balch for her comments on an earlier version of the manuscript.

Author information

D.A. contributed to the conceptualization, methodology, data collection, spatial and statistical analyses. L.S. contributed to the conceptualization. L.M.D. contributed to the statistical analyses and policy recommendations. All authors wrote the manuscript.

Correspondence to Dolors Armenteras.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Additional information

Publisher’s note: Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Supplementary information

Supplementary Information

Supplementary Text, Figure and Tables

Reporting Summary

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Armenteras, D., Schneider, L. & Dávalos, L.M. Fires in protected areas reveal unforeseen costs of Colombian peace. Nat Ecol Evol 3, 20–23 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-018-0727-8

Download citation

Further reading