Land cover change in the Republic of Cuba

Authors: Janet Torres*, University of California - Berkeley
Topics: Land Use and Land Cover Change, Development, Latin America
Keywords: Political economy, sustainability, urban growth, landscape, land cover change, Caribbean
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 1:20 PM / 3:00 PM
Room: Napoleon Foyer/Common St. Corridor, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This study looks at the growth and land use patterns produced from a change in the political economy. After the dismantling of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance the Republic of Cuba entered the Special Period in Time of Peace. As a way to invest in development, Cuba’s policies increasingly allowed Foreign Direct Investment in energy, mining, and tourism. The island was also forced to lay much agricultural land fallow and switch from intense industrial cultivation to more environmentally sound practices without the use of petroleum based agro-chemicals. In 2002 the self-imposed Tarea Álvaro Reynoso required Cuba to diversify their sugar based economy. Such policies had an impact on Cuba’s land cover and the consumption capability of its citizens, yet there is no study relating these policy changes with land cover shifts that were initiated after the 90’s. Leveraging remote sensing products to understand such impacts, this study compares intra-national regional patterns. A post-classification analysis is used to summarize land cover change trends in regions with historically high production of sugar. Through a policy analysis we discuss how differences among provinces might be explained.

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