A local perspective on drivers and measures to slow deforestation in the Andean-Amazonian foothills of Colombia | Land Portal

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Date of publication: 
September 2018
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Colombia’s Andean-Amazonian foothills are among the most pressing deforestation hotspots in the country. Yet, the relationships and dependencies of underlying deforestation drivers are not well understood. For an adequate territorial reorganization in the post-conflict era that is sensitive to local context, a targeted analysis of the present situation at the local level is required. This study investigates direct and indirect deforestation drivers, relationships among these and potential measures to lower deforestation post-conflict. The analysis uses spatial data of the Global Forest Watch project as a starting point for semi-structured interviews with 25 locally and regionally engaged stakeholders, triangulated with existing literature on the social, political and economic situation in the region. The results suggest that deforestation is not only caused by uncontrolled land colonization, but also related to the armed conflict, specifically the eradication of illicit crops and waves of migration due to the displacement of communities. Interviewees stressed the ambiguous role of armed groups and the responsibility of the state in incentivizing deforestation through building roads for the oil industry, fostering extractive industries and cattle ranching. The study reveals a high level of uncertainty among stakeholders regarding the possible effects of the peace agreement between the government and the FARC. Interviewees emphasized the crucial role of good governance and state sovereignty when working towards the establishment of alternative profitable industries, the implementation of environmental compensation schemes and an increased investment into environmental education.

Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Hoffmann, Carolin
García Márquez, Jaime Ricardo
Krueger, Tobias


Land Use Policy is an international and interdisciplinary journal concerned with the social, economic, political, legal, physical and planning aspects of urban and rural land use. It provides a forum for the exchange of ideas and information from the diverse range of disciplines and interest groups which must be combined to formulate effective land use policies.

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