In the southwestern Amazon lies the Sierra del Divisor, an isolated cluster of mist-covered peaks and ridges rising out of the steamy lowland rainforest. The forests of these fiercely dissected crests and valleys still ring with the low grunt of jaguar and the thunderous clacks of hundreds-strong herds of whitelipped peccaries, while the canopy sways with troops of the rare red Uakari monkey. This biodiversity inspired the Serra do Divisor National Park, and its transboundary sister reserve, but these forests are also home to humans: the descendants of Asheninka warriors and rubber tappers, a re-emergent Nawa people, I and most elusive, the "uncontacted" lsconahua. These homelands and ecosystems are crisscrossed with the ephemeral scars made by more recent arrivals: loggers, miners, and drug traffickers. However, the most important line in the Sierra del Divisor is the border itself, the international boundary that follows the Sierra's ridge dividing Peru's Ucayali river basin from Brazil's Jurua basin in the state of Acre. Relatively equidistant from the boundary ridgeline lie rwo cities, Ucayali's capital of Pucallpa, and Western Acre's commercial center, Cruzeiro do Sul. Both cities are the end of the road for their country's nerwork of thoroughfares. For now. Planners and government officials increasingly view the 160 kilometers of forest separating the rwo cities as a temporary obstruction to continental integration. A road connecting the rwo cities would bisect the border and have an impact on flora, fauna, and people. This chapter documents the struggle against this road, a struggle to defend local livelihoods, flora, and fauna from a development initiative pushed at continental, national, and regional scales. In particular, we analyze the synergy of two divergent analytical approaches, land change science (LCS) and political ecology (PE), to gain the best understanding of the impacts of a transboundary road bridging the Brazilian and Peruvian Amazon between the cities of Cruzeiro do Sui and Pucallpa.

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Copyright © 2013 Routledge. This chapter first appeared in Land Change Science, Political Ecology, and Sustainability: Synergies and divergences.

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