On a recent article about the forest disturbance in the Colombian Andes, authors Paulo J. Murillo-Sandoval, Thomas Hilker, Meg A. Krawchuk and Jamon Van Den Hoek talk about Colombia’s “megadiversity” given its high level of endemism and species richness. However, over the last 50 years, as they explain, the spread of informal settlements into forested regions, internal social conflict, and the growing demand for agricultural land have increased the pressure on Colombia’s forest ecosystems even in remote or protected regions.
In the end, as they present, as a consequence, between 1990 and 2015, Colombia lost more than six million hectares of forest, and more significantly, witnessed a 44% increase in deforestation in 2016 compared to 2015.
The authors conclusion in that conversion pasture is the main cause of change, especially from 2007–2014. The results of this study should encourage the remote sensing community to further develop robust frameworks using dense time-series metrics to analyze the drivers and consequences of human-induced changes.
Featured photo © Kike Calvo