Analysis of the Socio-Environmental Impacts of a Proposed Transboundary Highway between Pucallpa, Peru and Cruzeiro do Sul, Brazil

Authors: Anna Frisbie*, University of Richmond, Elspeth Collard, University of Richmond, David S. Salisbury, University of Richmond, Stephanie Spera, University of Richmond
Topics: Latin America, Transportation Geography, Environment
Keywords: Amazonia, Borderlands, Roads, Deforestation, Peru, Brazil
Session Type: Virtual Poster
Day: 4/10/2021
Start / End Time: 4:40 PM / 5:55 PM
Room: Virtual 51
Presentation File: Download

As road building across the Amazon continues to be proposed and promoted by governments in both Brazil and Peru, it becomes increasingly important to consider the effects this infrastructure could have on the diverse cultures and ecosystems of Amazonia. One of the proposals being discussed is a 200 km road that would connect the cities of Pucallpa, Peru and Cruzeiro do Sul, Brazil. While the road is promoted as economically beneficial, the route will pass close to, if not cross, Indigenous territories and protected conservation areas, notably the Sierra del Divisor National Park. The Sierra del Divisor region is a biodiversity hotspot containing rare, threatened species whose habitats are particularly vulnerable to encroaching road development. New road corridors may also facilitate illegal logging, drug trafficking, land speculation, in-migration, and the spread of diseases, endangering the biodiversity of the Amazon rainforest as well as potentially infringing upon the security and autonomy of Indigenous and rural peoples. This research aims to evaluate the potential impacts the Pucallapa-Cruzeiro do Sul road project presents to the environment, societies, and economies of the southwestern Amazon using a mixed methodology including geospatial analysis, remote sensing, and a literature review of previous studies on the impact of roads in tropical forests. These analyses will attempt to express the scale of the repercussions that road construction may bring to the bioculturally rich Amazon borderlands.

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