Which countries in Central America have experienced reforestation?

  1. Questions from Aide et al
  2. What are the three trends negatively impacting forested areas in Latin America? [3marks]


  1. Patterns of change and ecological consequence-Moist forest biome, together with their high levels of biodiversity continue to be major areas of woody vegetation loss. Dry forests have also experienced immense deforestation.


  1. Municipality scale drivers- The municipalities that have high proportions of woody vegetations are likely to deforest.


  1. Global scale drivers and land use planning implications-The increase in affluence and per capita consumption, which is closely linked with the global urban populations can be driving force of extensive deforestation.


  1. Which countries in Central America have experienced reforestation? [1 mark]


Mexico, Honduras, Costa Rica and El-Salvador


  1. Based on Aide et al.’s analysis, what is the key message for each of the following sub regions: (i) Caribbean. (ii) Mexico/Central America. (iii) South America? [3 mark]
  2. Caribbean

A net gain in woody vegetation has been observed in the Caribbean. The majority of this increase was observed in Cuba, where an estimate of +2524 km per square kilometer was recorded. Puerto Rico and Haiti also had a net gain in woody vegetation; they recorded +167km squared and +151km squared. Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica recorded the highest woody vegetation loss of -203 and -299 km squared.

  1. Central America

Deforestation prevailed in South America with Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina and Bolivia accounting for eighty percent of the deforestation. The Central America region also experienced a net increase in woody vegetation, the majority occurred in Mexico. In the Central American countries, deforestation is highly motivated by the subsistence farming and pastures. This can be primarily witnessed in the moist areas of Nicaragua and the Selva Maya regions of Guatemala.

  1. South America

According to et al.’s analysis an increase in the affluence per capita consumption, which is associated with the global urban populations can be a major driving force of the extensive deforestation in South America. Export oriented agriculture in South America will immensely increase deforestation.

  1. Where was data retrieved to conduct the study? [1 mark]

The research generated annual land cover maps that were based on 250-m moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer satellite data for the period 2001-2010 for all the countries in the Latin, central and South America. The reference data for the classifier training and accuracy assessment was collected by the use of virtual interpretation of Earth web interface tool on the MODIS pixel.

  1. Based on the multivariate regression analysis what is the best predictor of land change?

At the local level [1 mark]

According to the multivariate regression analysis, the environmental variables are the best predictors of land change at the local level.

  1. According to Aide et al., what role does increasing urbanization, if any, does

Urbanization has on deforestation in this region? [1 mark]


The continental scale analysis shows that the municipality level population variables are poor predictors of the woody vegetation; this is because deforestation can occur in areas with low population density and high population density.


  1. Aide et al note an increase in woody vegetation in the past decade. This increase in

Woody vegetation is not seen across all areas of Latin America, leading to an uneven

Geographic reforestation, what biomes area has reforestation primarily taken?

Place and what countries is this biome found? [2 marks]

Reforestation mainly occurred in the desert/Xeric shrub biomes and the mountainous regions, these areas are less appropriate for larger scale mechanized agriculture. The biomes are found in Venezuela, Peru and Ecuador.




  1. Questions from BBC World
  2. What year did Brazil suffer the worst deforestation rate? [1 mark]

Brazil suffered the worst deforestation rate in the year 2004.


  1. How has the Forest Protection Law of 2012 influenced deforestation in Brazil? [1mark]

The forest protection law has reduced the protected areas in farms and declared an amnesty for the areas that were destroyed before the year 2008.


  1. What is believed to be one of the largest contributing factors to the deforestation taking

Place in Brazil? [1 mark]

The forest protection law is believed to be the largest contributor to the deforestation that takes place in Brazil.


  1. Based on the University of Maryland’s Global Forest Change web site

(http://earthenginepartners.appspot.com/science-2013-global-forest), what is the

Geographical pattern to forest loss and gains from 2000-2013? (You will need to use

“Loss/Extent/Gain (Red/Green/Blue)” data product from the drop down menu). [1 mark]

According to the website, Brazil has shown the best improvement in forest loss compared to the other countries. The country cut its annual forest loss by half between the year 2003 an 2004 and the year 2010 and 2011.




  1. Using the Loss/Extent/Gain (Red/Green/Blue) data product of the University of

Maryland’s Global Forest Change website what has been the outcome near the

Following cities: (a) Belem, (b) Santarem, and (c) Macapá? [3 marks

The three cities show areas of significant deforestation, the three cities are all located in the lower Amazon area


  1. Using the Forest Cover Gain 2000-2012 (Transparent) data product of the University of Maryland’s Global Forest Change website what two Brazilian states received the greatest forest gains? [2 marks]

The states that received the greatest forest gains are the State of Sao Paulo, State of Mina Gerais


  1. Using the Forest Lost Year (2013 Highlight) from the University of Maryland’s Global

Forest Change website, which two provinces witnessed the most deforestation in 2013? [1 marks]

The states that witnessed the most deforestation were Para and Mato Grosso.


  1. Application of Aide et al. And BBC World


  1. Identify three academic articles related to deforestation in Latin America published between, 2012-2014. Record each article in proper APA formatting. [3 marks]


Hecht, S. B. (2014). Forests lost and found in tropical Latin America: the woodland ‘green revolution’. Journal of Peasant Studies, 41(5), 877-909


Estrada-Carmona, N., Hart, A. K.,  DeClerck, F. A., Harvey, C. A., & Milder, J. C. (2014). Integrated landscape management for agriculture, rural livelihoods, and ecosystem conservation: An assessment of experience from Latin America and the Caribbean. Landscape and Urban Planning, 129, 1-11.


Pinto-Ledezma, J. N., & Mamani, M. L. R. (2014). Temporal patterns of deforestation and fragmentation in lowland Bolivia: implications for climate change. Climatic Change, 127(1), 43-54.

  1. Identify three non-academic articles related to deforestation in Latin America

Published between 2012-2014. Record each article in proper APA formatting. [3 marks]


Mount, I. (2012, 8 24). Chronicling Latin America’s Deforestation leaf by leaf. Retrieved 3 11, 2015, from http://www.zdnet.com/article/chronicling-latin-americas-deforestation-leaf-by-leaf/

Nuwer, R. (2012, 6 5). A New Satellite tool tracks defforestaion . The New York Times .

Porter, E. (2014, 12 9). In Latin America, Growth Trumps and Climate. The New York Times, p. 7.


  1. Provide two pieces of advice you would provide to the government of Brazil to

Mitigate deforestation. [2 marks]

I would highly recommend the Brazilian government to adopt and ambitious science based policy to deal with the deforestation issues, this will enable the government to take action against the corporations that get their materials from the endangered forests.

The Brazilian government should ensure that it has a sustainable consumer option; this means that the government should put immense pressure on the companies that have a bad environmental practice. Recycling should be encouraged, only brands that have a zero deforestation policy should be encouraged and supported.