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DOI

https://doi.org/10.7275/vj3e-k759

Publication Date

2019

Abstract

Colombia has lived in the last sixty years trapped between the claws of an internal conflict with special characteristics, which have led to serious consequences on its development and very high-cost of human lives. However, these consequences are not limited to economic and social fields only; it has also resulted in several effects on the environment as well as notorious changes in the landscape, especially in the country boundaries and more neglected zones as the Amazonas region.

The Amazon rainforest, the largest in the world in terms of size and diversity, is recognized as a source of ecological services for both local and worldwide communities. Ten percent of its territory belongs to Colombia, covering approximately 35% of the country's total area. In spite of global efforts, it continues to be vulnerable to deforestation pressures changing the land use and consequently, the landscape. In the Amazonian departments of Caquetá and Putumayo, human activities such as logging and illicit crops are the main causes of deforestation, which is increasing the department's vulnerability to climate change and natural hazards, especially in the foothills between the Amazonas and Andes region, that works as a greenway (transition zone) linking these two important ecosystems, one of the most biodiverse regions in the world.

This paper seeks to collect data from several sources in order to give an integral and general approach based on mixed methods. It also involves an analysis of drivers including the internal armed conflict in the forest cover and the landscape in the last 16 years.

The methodology used in the review paper comprised comparing and crossing data of the conflict, deforestation and illicit crops, private and public sources as United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), The Monitoring Project of the Andean Amazon (MAAP), The “Peace and Reconciliation Foundation”, “Dejusticia Study Centre” and The Alexander von Humboldt Institute. In addition, using remote sensing and GFW data generating indicators of degradation and affectation in the Land Use and Land Cover.

Nowadays after the agreement with the “FARC” guerrilla in 2016, the discussion focus with the threat that post-conflict could have on the development of potentialities of affected areas. The government is now focusing on decreasing the number of Illicit Crops and increasing the reforestation and therefore recovering the original landscape. Thus, the end of the armed conflict results in opportunities to repair the environmental damage and the possibility of a rethink about the development of the country.

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