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High-yield oil palm expansion spares land at the expense of forests in the Peruvian Amazon

Victor Hugo Gutiérrez-Vélez; Christine Padoch; Ruth S. DeFries; Maria Uriarte; Miguel Angel Pinedo-Vasquez; Walter E. Baethgen; Katia de Avila Fernandes; Yili Lim

Title:
High-yield oil palm expansion spares land at the expense of forests in the Peruvian Amazon
Author(s):
Gutiérrez-Vélez, Victor Hugo
Padoch, Christine
DeFries, Ruth S.
Uriarte, Maria
Pinedo-Vasquez, Miguel Angel
Baethgen, Walter E.
de Avila Fernandes, Katia
Lim, Yili
Date:
Type:
Articles
Department(s):
Center for Environmental Sustainability
Volume:
6
Persistent URL:
Book/Journal Title:
Environmental Research Letters
Geographic Area:
Peru--Ucayali Region
Publisher:
IOP Science
Abstract:
High-yield agriculture potentially reduces pressure on forests by requiring less land to increase production. Using satellite and field data, we assessed the area deforested by industrial-scale high-yield oil palm expansion in the Peruvian Amazon from 2000 to 2010, finding that 72% of new plantations expanded into forested areas. In a focus area in the Ucayali region, we assessed deforestation for high- and smallholder low-yield oil palm plantations. Low-yield plantations accounted for most expansion overall (80%), but only 30% of their expansion involved forest conversion, contrasting with 75% for high-yield expansion. High-yield expansion minimized the total area required to achieve production but counter-intuitively at higher expense to forests than low-yield plantations. The results show that high-yield agriculture is an important but insufficient strategy to reduce pressure on forests. We suggest that high-yield agriculture can be effective in sparing forests only if coupled with incentives for agricultural expansion into already cleared lands.
Subject(s):
Deforestation
Ecology
Agriculture
Environmental management
Publisher DOI:
https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/6/4/044029
Item views
170
Metadata:
text | xml
Suggested Citation:
Victor Hugo Gutiérrez-Vélez, Christine Padoch, Ruth S. DeFries, Maria Uriarte, Miguel Angel Pinedo-Vasquez, Walter E. Baethgen, Katia de Avila Fernandes, Yili Lim, , High-yield oil palm expansion spares land at the expense of forests in the Peruvian Amazon, Columbia University Academic Commons, .

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