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Monday, April 9 • 10:00am - 10:15am
LAND USE/LAND COVER CHANGE: Identifying Drivers Behind Deforestation in Guarayos Indigenous Territory, Eastern Bolivia from 1997 to 2017

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AUTHORS: Yifan He*, School of Environment and Sustainability, University of Michigan; Juan Pablo Baldiviezo, The Bolivian Forestry Research Institute (Instituto Boliviano de Investigación Forestal); Arun Agrawal, Ivette Perfecto – School of Environment and Sustainability, University of Michigan

ABSTRACT: While maintaining a socialist, pro-indigenous, and pro-nature image, the government of Evo Morales of Bolivia finds itself embracing export-oriented agriculture and extractivism as the country integrates into the global economy. This dual political discourse has profound impacts on Guarayos, an indigenous community located in eastern Bolivia that relies on their tropical dry forests as the main source of livelihood. In this study, I explore how the economic and social policies of Bolivia, prompted by the global demand for agricultural commodities, shape the forest and agriculture landscapes and the livelihood of the indigenous community in Guarayos. Spatial analysis of forest cover changes over the past 20 years based on remote sensing data shows how land tenure change, and the expansion of mechanized agriculture and cattle ranch contribute to forest loss in Guarayos. Semi-structured interviews with 25 community, business, and government stakeholders indicate that not only is there a lack of support for the forest sector, the central government is actively weakening the structure and governance capacity of indigenous institutions, which further hurt their forest management.

Monday April 9, 2018 10:00am - 10:15am CDT
Grant Park Parlor