Deforestation drivers in southwest Amazonia: Comparing smallholder farmers in iñapari, Peru, and Assis Brasil, Brazil

Angelica M.Almeyda Zambrano, Eben N. Broadbent, Marianne Schmink, Stephen G. Perz, Gregory P. Asner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Broad interpretation of land use and forest cover studies has been limited by the biophysical and socio-economic uniqueness of the landscapes in which they are carried out and by the multiple temporal and spatial scales of the underlying processes. We coupled a land cover change approach with a political ecology framework to interpret trends in multioral remote sensing of forest cover change and socio-economic surveys with smallholders in the towns of Iñapari, Peru and Assis Brasil, Brazil in southwest Amazonia. These adjacent towns have similar biogeophysical conditions, but have undergone differing development approaches, and are both presently undergoing infrastructure development for the new Interoceanic highway. Results show that forest cover patterns observed in these two towns cannot be accounted for using single land use drivers. Rather, deforestation patterns result from interactions of national and regional policies affecting fnancial credit and road infrastructure, along with local processes of market integration and household resources. Based on our results we develop recommendations to minimise deforestation in the study area. Our fndings are relevant for the sustainability of land use in the Amazon, in particular for regions undergoing large-scale infrastructure development projects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-170
Number of pages14
JournalConservation and Society
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Amazon
  • Cattle ranching
  • Deforestation
  • Land use
  • Political ecology
  • Slash and burn agriculture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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