Recall that in Image of the Week #7 we documented the increasing threats (illegal coca, logging, and mining) to the Sierra del Divisor Reserved Zone. We just obtained brand new, high-resolution imagery showing new deforestation deep within this protected area during the month of June. Here, Image of the Week #8, presents new maps of this recent deforestation. According to several consulted experts, the cause of this deforestation is illegal coca cultivation or a new illegal logging camp.
New Deforestation Detected
Image 8a shows the new deforestation detected within the southeast section of the Sierra del Divisor Reserved Zone. As of June 23, 2015 (the date of the image), the total new deforestation was 13 hectares. This deforestion is located between the La Cúpula and Shesha hills.
In Image of the Week #7 we showed that there is a series of illegal logging camps nearby, but this new deforestation is located much deeper in the reserve. According to several consulted experts, the cause of the new deforestation is illegal coca cultivation or a new illegal logging camp.
Updated Baseline Map
Image 8b is an updated map of the deforestation within the southeast section of the Sierra del Divisor Reserved Zone. Note that the new 2015 deforestation is found much deeper within the reserve than previous detected forest loss.
Confirming Recent Deforestation
To better understand how the recent deforestation unfolded, we created a satellite (Landsat) image time-series. Note that in Image 8c all four panels show the exact same area over time. In August 2014, our focal area was completely forested. The first evidence of deforestation is seen in May 2015. In June 2015, the deforestation grows quickly.
Deforestation Within the Isconahua Territorial Reserve
Image 8d shows the new deforestation is also located with the Isconahua Territorial Reserve.
This is an official land designation in favor of indigenous peoples in isolation, to protect their rights, habitat, and the conditions that ensure their existence and integrity as a people.
In response to this article, SERNANP (the Peruvian protected areas agency) issued this statement:
“The Sierra del Divisor Reserved Zone is a transitional area under the Peruvian National Service of Natural Protected Areas (SERNANP).
Over the past few years, Sierra del Divisor has made significant efforts in its fight against ilegal logging and other activities that threaten it. However, it is worth noting that Image of the Week #8: New Deforestation Detected Within Sierra del Divisor (Peru) in June corresponds with an area of overlap with the Isconahua Territorial Reserve, a sector in which the Ministry of Culture works in coordination with SERNANP.
As part of our actions, SERNANP has planned a flyover in the zone to verify information regarding the new deforestation alert in the Sierra del Divisor, and will continue with special park guard patrolling that began last week, despite the local climate conditions.”
“La Zona Reservada Sierra del Divisor es un espacio de carácter transitorio a cargo del Servicio Nacional de Áreas Naturales Protegidas por el Estado (SERNANP).
En los últimos años la ZRSD ha realizado grandes esfuerzos en su lucha contra la tala ilegal y otras actividades que la amenazan. Sin embargo, hay que precisar que la Imagen de la Semana #8: Nueva Deforestación al Interior de la ZRSD corresponde al ámbito de traslape (superposición) con la Reserva Territorial Isconahua, donde también interviene el Ministerio de Cultura, la cual el SERNANP trabaja de manera conjunta con dicho sector.
En el marco de nuestras acciones, el SERNANP viene programando un sobrevuelo en la zona para verificar la información sobre la nueva alerta de deforestación en la ZRSD, y continuar con el patrullaje especial del personal guardaparque que viene realizando desde la semana pasada, pese a las condiciones climáticas del lugar”.
Finer M, Novoa S, Peña N (2015) Nueva Deforestación al Interior de la Zona Reservada Sierra del Divisor. MAAP: Imagen #8. Link: https://maaproject.org/2015/06/imagen-8-sierradivisor