Loss carbon by recent deforestation (2010-2013) in the lowlands and Yungas of Bolivia

Cuéllar, Saúl


In this study, we evaluate the potential carbon loss caused by recent deforestation (2010-2013) in the lowlands and Yungas of Bolivia. Specifically, we examine the extent of carbon loss that occurred in national protected areas and officially recognized indigenous territories (in Spanish TIOC or TCO). Models on carbon storage proposed by WHRC (Woods Hole Research Center, www.whrc.org) at a global scale for 2010 as a baseline. In order to detect deforestation occurred from 2010 to 2013, we used a methodology based on the calculation of NDFI (Normalized Difference Fraction Index, Souza et al. 2005) and decision trees. We calculated the potential carbon loss occurred from 2010 to 2013 by deforestation of carbon storage in 2013 that these forests had in 2010. The results show that the potential loss of carbon was 62.0 million tC for the lowlands and the Yungas (about 20.7 million tC/year) and from 2.6 to 4.4 million tC for national protected areas (about 879,000 tC/year) and officially recognized indigenous territories (about 1.5 million tC/year). We identified three fronts of carbon loss in the biogeographic provinces of Chiquitania, Chaco and Beni, which are located in the main area of expansion of the agricultural frontier of the country (Department Santa Cruz). We suggest designing a long-term monitoring program to assess the carbon storage capacity in different types of forests in Bolivia. This monitoring program could link to Bolivian System of Forest Certification and Incentives (SBCBI, in Spanish), as a strategy that helps to diminish the conversion of forest and, thus, prevent carbon loss.

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Ecología en Bolivia - Revista del Instituto de Ecología, ISSN : 2075-5023

Indexed in: SciELO

Instituto de Ecología UMSA

La Paz . Bolivia