Environmental degradation of indigenous protected areas of the Amazon as a slow onset event

Elsevier, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, Volume 50, June 2021
Bowman K.W., Dale S.A., Dhanani S., Nehru J., Rabishaw B.T.

The Amazon is the most concentrated expression of life on Earth and it is clearly threatened. Illegal deforestation and the setting of fires, expanding soy and beef agribusiness, and rapid shifts in the South American and global geopolitical landscape, coupled with a weakening of environmental governance, threaten the vitality of Indigenous Protected Areas (IPAs) and Protected Natural Areas (PNAs), perhaps the most important bulwarks against the destruction of the Amazon [1,2••,3–6] (Butler 2020; Lovejoy and Nobre 2018; Lovejoy and Nobre, 2019; Butler 2019; Walker et al., 2020; Sheil et al., 2015). In the eight Amazon nations, as much as 4 million km2 form a patchwork of Indigenous territories and PNAs [5••] (Walker et al., 2020). Amazon IPAs are increasingly impacted by forest degradation and disturbance, which diminish carbon storage and erode ecological integrity [5••,7••,8,9••] (Walker et al. 2020; Blackman ad Veit 2018; Makondo and Thomas 2018; Brito et al., 2019). A growing number of studies indicate that the protection of IPAs creates a fortification against deforestation, forest fires, and in turn, climate change [5••,7••,8,10,11] (Walker et al. 2020; Blackman ad Veit 2018; Makondo and Thomas 2018; Londono et al., 2016; Walker et al., 2009).