Dryland Deforestation in the Tropics: Cross-national Patterns

Monday, 15 December 2014: 4:50 PM
Thomas K Rudel, Rutgers University New Brunswick, New Brunswick, NJ, United States
Patterns in recently released data on land use change in the tropics suggest an upsurge in land clearing in dryland settings. The most rapid deforestation after 2005 in Latin America has occurred in the semi-arid regions of northern Argentina and western Paraguay. Semi-arid regions in Mozambique, Zambia, and Tanzania have experienced considerable declines in the extent of dryland forests after 2000. These patterns suggest an acceleration in dryland deforestation that may be global in extent. In this paper I assess this claim with recently published LANDSAT data on forest cover changes across nations between 2000 and 2012.  In addition the analyses identifies the primary drivers of dryland deforestation for the post millennium period.