Landscapes in an era of post-conflict: Mapping the spatial configuration of landscapes in the Orinoquía region of Colombia.

Authors: Laura Schneider*, Rutgers University, Dolors Armenteras, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Departamento de Biologia, Henry Rumbo-Fonseca, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Departamento de Biologia
Topics: Land Use and Land Cover Change, Human-Environment Geography, Spatial Analysis & Modeling
Keywords: Colombia, conflict, land transformation
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Coolidge, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

The Orinoquía landscapes in Colombia are mosaics characterized by complex land-uses and complex ecologies. They uniquely sit between the Colombian east Andean cordillera and the Amazon, with important biological diversity and endemism. Historically, the Orinoquía has been at the center of the Colombian conflict between the state and guerrilla groups, which has critically affected land access and agricultural development, and in an indirect way promoted biological conservation. Roads and other types of infrastructure are inadequate, driving the isolation of the region from major markets in the country, such as Colombia‚Äôs capital, Bogotá. With a new peace treaty under way, which promises land restitution for small farmers and the development of large-scale agriculture with investments from the central government, areas that have not been used in the last few decades due to the conflict will be targeted for development and at the same time considered critical for conservation. Results on the changes in landscape configuration between 2014-2018, show the expansion of agricultural lands and the decrease of natural vegetation. The changes are clustered in the region, and correlated to infrastructure. The paper explores the effects of the peace treaty in the expansion of land consolidation.

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