Biomass Change of the Landless Peasants' Settlements in Lower Amazon

Monday, 15 December 2014
Kanae Ishimaru, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan and Sayaka Yoshikawa, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo, Japan
Land use/land cover (LU/LC) changes have been reported to occur over large areas in Legal Amazon due to the introduction of large-scale mechanized agriculture, extensive cattle ranching and uncontrolled slash-and-burn cultivation since the 1980s. Around the same time, movements which poor peoples or landless peasants settle into abandoned land have been very active in Brazil. In many cases, these people lack agricultural experiences to yield sufficient production for livelihoods. Thus, it leads to abandon the land and repeat forest clearance. In recent year, education by NGOs to these people encourage spreading of agroforestry which is a land use management system in which trees are grown around or among crops or pasture land. In this study, we specifically aimed at clarifying changes in LULC and these biomass using ground observation data, remotely-sensed LANDSAT data and GIS techniques. We focus on four different settlements: old-established settlement (around 30 years), established settlement (around 20 years), productive settlement (7 year) and unproductive settlement (7 years). These four settelements were located at Santa Barbará province, about 40 km northeast from the center of Belém, the Pará state capital, in the northern part of Brazil. We clarify that the biomass change varied according to whether the settlement are productive or not.