MAAP #92: New Deforestation Threats In The Peruvian Amazon (Part 2: Agriculture Expansion)

In this ongoing series, we describe major new projects that may lead to the rapid deforestation of large areas of primary Amazon forest. The first report (MAAP #84) described the deforestation associated with the construction of the Yurimaguas – Jeberos road (see Base Map), which crosses extensive primary forest and a priority site for conservation in the Loreto […]

MAAP #137: New Illegal Gold Mining Hotspot In Peruvian Amazon – Pariamanu

In 2019, the Peruvian government launched Operation Mercury to confront the illegal gold mining crisis in the southern Amazonian area known as La Pampa (Madre de Dios region).As a result, deforestation decreased 90% in this critical area (MAAP# 130). Some illegal gold mining, however, has moved to several new hotspots (Image 1), although at much lower levels. The […]

MAAP #131: Power Of Free High-resolution Satellite Imagery From Norway Agreement

This report demonstrates the powerful application of freely available, high-resolution satellite imagery recently made possible thanks to an agreement between the Government of Norway and several satellite companies.* This unprecedented agreement will bring commercial satellite technology, previously out of reach to many, to all working in tropical forest conservation around the world. Here we show how MAAP (an initiative of […]

MAAP #129: Amazon Fires 2020 – Recap Of Another Intense Fire Year

Following the intense Amazon fire season of 2019 that made international headlines, here we report another major fire year in 2020. Using our novel real-time Amazon Fires Monitoring app,* we documented over 2,500 major fires across the Amazon in 2020 (see Base Map). Of these, 88% (2,192 major fires) were in the Brazilian Amazon. The other 8% (205 fires) and 4% (88 fires) were in […]

MAAP#127: Mennonite Colonies Continue Major Deforestation in Peruvian Amazon

The Mennonites, a religious group often associated with organized agricultural activity, have started three new colonies in the Peruvian Amazon. We have documented the deforestation of 8,500 acres (3,440 hectares) in these three colonies over the past four years (updated October 2020). The deforestation started in 2017, but continues to be active in 2020 (with 1,900 acres lost, 25% of the total). Notably, this […]

MAAP #123: Detecting Illegal Logging In The Peruvian Amazon

In the Peruvian Amazon, the widespread illegal logging is difficult to detect with satellites because it is selective for high-value species (not clearcutting). It is possible, however, to detect the associated logging roads. In this report, we present a novel technique to identify illegal logging: analyze new logging roads in relation to detailed land use data available from government […]

MAAP#121: Reduction Of Illegal Gold Mining In The Peruvian Amazon

Thanks to the support of the USAID, via the Prevent Project, dedicated to the prevention and combat of environmental crimes in the Amazon, we conducted a detailed analysis of recent illegal gold mining deforestation in the southern Peruvian Amazon. The objective is to understand the trends from early 2017 to June 2020 (which includes the first part of the mandatory quarantine […]

MAAP #119: Predicting 2020 Brazilian Amazon Fires

The Brazilian Amazon fires made international headlines last year. By analyzing an archive of satellite imagery (from Planet Explorer), we made the major discovery that many of the 2019 fires were actually burning recently deforested areas (MAAP #113). In fact, many of the fires were burning areas deforested earlier that same year of 2019. Thus, we may predict 2020 fire locations based […]

MAAP #118: Real-time Amazon Fire Monitoring App

In time for the next fire season, we are relaunching an improved version of our Amazon real-time fire monitoring app, hosted by Google Earth Engine. When fires burn, they emit gases and aerosols.* A new satellite  (Sentinel-5P from the European Space Agency) detects these aerosol emissions.* The major feature of the app is user-friendly and real-time identification of major fires across the […]

MAAP #113: Satellites Reveal What Fueled Brazilian Amazon Fires

As part of our ongoing coverage, we present two key new findings about the Brazilian Amazon fires that captured the world’s attention in August (see our novel satellite-based methodology below). First, we found that many of the fires, covering over 450,000 hectares, burned areas recently deforested since 2017 (orange in Base Map). That is a massive area equivalent to over a million acres (or […]