Roads Lead to Deforestation in Untouched Peruvian Amazon

Recently-contacted Murunahua man, River Yurua, Peru. He was shot in the eye by loggers during first contact. © David Hill / Survival

Satellites Show Logging Decline in Peruvian Amazon
By Stephen Leahy

Deforestation in the Peruvian Amazon, intense in zones near roads and mining operations, has had little impact in protected forests, say researchers.

Aug 13 (Tierramérica).- Rainforest conservation policies are reducing the rate of deforestation in the Peruvian Amazon, but roads are unquestionably the drivers of change, new satellite data reveal.

Although Brazil’s Amazon forests draw the most international attention, Peru’s 661,000 square kilometers of rainforests are recognized as a unique and important ecosystem.

However, the impacts of human activities throughout the region have been poorly understood, until a study published Aug. 10 in the journal Science.

“Peru’s forest reserves and conservation areas appear to be working well,” said Greg Asner, director of the Carnegie Airborne Observatory, at Stanford University in California.

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