Synthesizing quantitative and qualitative understandings of deforestation drivers and solutions in protected areas in the Amazon

Type: Virtual Panel
Sponsor Groups: Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group, Spatial Analysis and Modeling Specialty Group, Latin America Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/8/2021
Start / End Time: 1:30 PM / 2:45 PM (PDT)
Room: Virtual 47
Organizers: Megan Mills-Novoa, Eva Kinnebrew, Katherine Siegel, Elizabeth Shoffner, Jose Ochoa
Chairs: Megan Mills-Novoa


Synthesizing quantitative and qualitative understandings of deforestation drivers and solutions in protected areas in the Amazon

The protected areas of the Amazon Basin face escalating human pressure, with increases in deforestation driven by interacting political and socioeconomic forces at multiple spatial scales. This increase in forest loss has consequences for biodiversity and ecosystem services of local and global importance (e.g. non-timber forest products, water quality, and carbon sequestration); it also reflects complex dynamics of governance, formal and informal settlements and market-based economies. Qualitative and quantitative studies of Amazonian deforestation have improved our understanding of the complex socio-environmental drivers of land use change and the potential leverage points for reducing forest loss. However, while many scholars have called for integrating qualitative and quantitative methods in deforestation studies, innovations are needed to fully realize the potential of these interdisciplinary approaches.

In this panel, we present the methodological approach and findings of our interdisciplinary team research, supported by the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC). In this project, we integrate theories from critical discourse analysis and land system science with methods from interdisciplinary synthesis science to develop an integrative framework for understanding the drivers of and potential solutions to deforestation across three protected area case studies in the region: Jamanxim National Forest (Brazil), Tambopata and Bahuaja-Sonene National Parks (Peru), and Amboró and Carrasco National Parks (Bolivia). Our methodology combines remote sensing, land use change modeling, and critical discourse analysis of conservation and management documents from across multiple scales and stakeholders to provide novel and salient insights into deforestation dynamics. Iteratively integrating quantitative and qualitative data and methodologies enables a better understanding of land use change dynamics, with implications for management and policies designed to reduce forest loss. We also reflect on the benefits and challenges of interdisciplinary land use change studies.

This panel will include discussions with the team members about the findings of their particular project components (i.e. remote sensing analysis, discourse analysis, predictive land use modeling, and our model for synthesis). These brief presentations will then be followed by a discussion with the audience about alternative, productive applications of this approach, next steps, and challenges of mixed method land use studies.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Panelist Elizabeth Shoffner University of Washington 15 1:30 PM
Panelist Eva Kinnebrew University of Vermont 15 1:45 PM
Panelist Katherine Siegel University of California - Berkeley 15 2:00 PM
Panelist Jose Ochoa UC Davis 15 2:15 PM
Discussant Megan Mills-Novoa University of Arizona - Geography & Development 15 2:30 PM

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