Deforestation in Colombia increased after 2016 peace accord

Washington, Feb 21 (EFE).- Deforestation in Colombia has increased since the peace agreement between the government and the guerrilla movement FARC in 2016, mainly due to coca cultivation and cattle ranching, an article published by Frontiers magazine said Monday.

A study carried out by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) confirmed that deforestation has continued to trend higher since the peace negotiations led by Colombia’s former President Juan Manuel Santos.

In 2016, the government of Santos and FARC signed an agreement that brought an end to more than 50 years of armed conflict.

“The impact and leading causes varied significantly depending on the municipality area and region,” the article explained.

“For example, cattle were the leading predictor in the Amazon, whereas coca cultivation was more dominant in the Andes,” it added.

Augusto Castro-Nunez, who led the CIAT’s study, said that there was no “perfect solution for the whole of Colombia.”

Researchers studied between 2001-2018 datasets of 708 out of 1,122 Colombia’s municipalities, which represent 98% of the total deforested areas in the country.

Then, they modeled the relationship between deforestation, conflict events, displaced people, the size of municipalities, coca crops, number of cattle and cattle farms.

“We have an overall idea of the dynamics at play and next we need to break it down and confirm that this is really happening on the ground by surveying farmers and understanding local motivations,” Castro-Nunez said.

“Then we need to provide farmers and those affected with policies and incentives that take into account their livelihoods as well as conservation.”EFE


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