Modeling deforestation at distinct geographic scales and time periods in Santa Cruz, Bolivia

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This paper analyzes geo-referenced data to elucidate the relations between deforestation and access to roads and markets, attributes of the physical environment, land tenure, and zoning policies in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. It presents separate models for Santa Cruz as a whole and for seven different zones within Santa Cruz, as well as for two different time periods (pre-1989 and 1989 to 1994). The relation between deforestation and the explanatory variables varies depending on geographic scale and the zone and time period analyzed. At the department scale, locations closer to roads and the city and places that have more fertile soils and wetter climates have a greater probability of being deforested. The same applies to colonization areas. Protected areas and forest concessions are less likely to be deforested. Nevertheless, in many specific zones, these variables had no significant impact or actually had the opposite impact than in the entire department. Most of these relations were weaker between 1989 and 1994 than in the previous period.

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