The Amazon rainforest provides ecosystem services to 33 million inhabitants, including 1.5 million Indigenous people from almost 400 different groups, living within the biome boundary. The goals of this project are to understand how forest degradation, deforestation, and road building affect the ecosystem services provided by the hydrologic cycle in the Southwestern Amazon and to develop data and tools to improve sustainable development in the region.
Our team focuses on the Amazon borderlands shared by Ucayali, Peru and Acre, Brazil. Here, we aim to understand development pressures, particularly in the context of road building, and characterize changes in forest cover using remotely-sensed data and fieldwork, and attribute these changes in forest cover to localized changes in evapotranspiration (ET), soil moisture, humidity, and surface temperature. The effect-radius of these changes in forest cover (how far away these changes are felt) will be determined, and maps generated that highlight areas that have undergone changes in microclimatology and land-use. This results of this work will be shared through trainings, fieldwork, and workshops with partner communities and universities.
Our work, which is currently funded by NASA, emphasizes capacity building of local Indigenous and non-Indigenous groups, as well as colleagues at CIAT and SERVIR Amazonia-Hub partner institutions such as ACCA-MAAP, UFAC-Floresta, UNU, Upper Amazon Conservancy, ORAU, OPIRJ, SEMA, ARA, CPI and colleagues and students with current partners in the region.