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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2014

Farmers’ (local and colonists) perceptions of environmental changes in the forest frontier of the upper Amazon, Peru

Lindell, Lina; Henningsson, Marianne; Marquardt, Kristina; Åström, Mats E.


Amazon ecosystem degradation profoundly impacts life supporting processes of global importance such as climate regulation, as well as local conditions for livelihoods. In Peru’s highland jungle, an expanding deforestation front of forest conversion to agriculture has vastly transformed the landscape. Small-scale farming, the main driver of forest degradation, and consequently household natural resource management affect ecosystem functionality. To investigate farmers’ attitudes and priorities to services provided by the ecosystems (ES) we interviewed 51 farmers, both local and colonists. They strongly agreed that over the last three decades, local conditions for livelihoods have deteriorated following forest degradation and climate change. The latter was reported the primary contributor to an impaired life quality and their greatest concern. Overall, local farmers perceived greater environmental change than did colonists who were also more positive towards intensive agriculture and forestry. This should be considered in environmental conservation efforts in the upper Amazon.


sustainable development; deforestation; land-cover change; climate change; attitudes; perceptions; migration; colonists; tropical humid forest; agricultural resources; smallholders; rural livelihoods; environmental change; ecosystem services

Published in

International Journal of Agricultural Resources, Governance and Ecology
2014, Volume: 10, number: 4, pages: 394-418

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG15 Life on land
    SDG8 Decent work and economic growth

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use

    Publication identifier


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