Diverging forest land use dynamics induced by armed conflict across the tropics

  • Armed conflicts trigger region-specific mechanisms that affect land use change. Deforestation is presented as one of the most common negative environmental impacts resulting from armed conflicts, with relevant consequences in terms of greenhouse gas emissions and loss of ecosystem services. However, the impact of armed conflict on forests is complex and may simultaneously lead to positive and negative environmental outcomes, i.e. forest regrowth and deforestation, in different regions even within a country. We investigate the impact that armed conflict exerted over forest dynamics at different spatial scales in Colombia and for the global tropics during the period 1992–2015. Through the analysis of its internally displaced population (departures) our results suggest that, albeit finding forest regrowth in some municipalities, the Colombian conflict predominantly exerted a negative impact on its forests. A further examination of georeferenced fighting locations in Colombia and across the globe shows that conflict areas were 8 and 4Armed conflicts trigger region-specific mechanisms that affect land use change. Deforestation is presented as one of the most common negative environmental impacts resulting from armed conflicts, with relevant consequences in terms of greenhouse gas emissions and loss of ecosystem services. However, the impact of armed conflict on forests is complex and may simultaneously lead to positive and negative environmental outcomes, i.e. forest regrowth and deforestation, in different regions even within a country. We investigate the impact that armed conflict exerted over forest dynamics at different spatial scales in Colombia and for the global tropics during the period 1992–2015. Through the analysis of its internally displaced population (departures) our results suggest that, albeit finding forest regrowth in some municipalities, the Colombian conflict predominantly exerted a negative impact on its forests. A further examination of georeferenced fighting locations in Colombia and across the globe shows that conflict areas were 8 and 4 times more likely to undergo deforestation, respectively, in the following years in relation to average deforestation rates. This study represents a municipality level, long-term spatial analysis of the diverging effects the Colombian conflict exerted over its forest dynamics over two distinct periods of increasing and decreasing conflict intensity. Moreover, it presents the first quantified estimate of conflict's negative impact on forest ecosystems across the globe. The relationship between armed conflict and land use change is of global relevance given the recent increase of armed conflicts across the world and the importance of a possible exacerbation of armed conflicts and migration as climate change impacts increase.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author details:David M. LandholmORCiD, Prajal PradhanORCiDGND, Juergen P. KroppORCiDGND
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2019.03.006
ISSN:0959-3780
ISSN:1872-9495
Parent title (English):Global environmental change : human and policy dimensions
Publisher:Elsevier
Place of publishing:Oxford
Publication type:Article
Language:English
Date of first publication:2019/04/18
Year of completion:2019
Release date:2021/02/22
Tag:Armed conflict; Colombian conflict; Deforestation; Internally displaced persons; Land use change drivers; Migration
Volume:56
Page number:9
First page:86
Last Page:94
Funding institution:German International Climate Protection Initiative [42206-6157]
Organizational units:Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Umweltwissenschaften und Geographie
DDC classification:5 Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik / 55 Geowissenschaften, Geologie / 550 Geowissenschaften
Peer review:Referiert