Transboundary Analysis of Indigenous Territories and Protected Natural Areas as Barriers to Deforestation in the Southwestern Amazon

Peter Braun

Lack of sufficient protection from the threats of logging, mining, agriculture, and road and settlement building is contributing to the loss of biocultural diversity and ecosystem services in the Southwestern Amazon. The primary methods for protecting this important and fragile region is the creation and administration of indigenous territories (ITs) and protected natural areas (PNAs). While extensive research has been placed on the effectiveness of each type of conservation unit and a broad overview of the Amazon, less focus has been placed on regional and transboundary studies of indigenous territories and protected natural area as barriers to deforestation. This study calculated and compared the percent deforestation within each indigenous territory and protected natural area within the Southwestern Amazon borderlands shared by Acre, Brazil, and Ucayali and Madre de Dios, Peru, showing differences between states and conservation unit type. While there was no significant difference between percent deforestation between ITs and PNAs, we found that the rate of deforestation within both ITs and PNAs was less than unprotected areas in the study area. The identified differences between types of indigenous territories, and states, and countries and their respective deforestation can be used by policy makers and forest and territory managers to make nuanced decisions appropriate for their region and locality.


Geography and the Environment


David Salisbury