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Environmental impacts in indigenous populations

Research Achievements

Environmental impacts in indigenous populations

IGERT faculty and current and former trainees from multiple disciplines (anthropology, biostatistics, city and regional planning, geography) brought together results of studies carried out over almost two decades to investigate differences in environmental impacts between colonist and indigenous populations in the Northern Ecuadorian Amazon. Datasets used combine remote imagery and household surveys of colonists and five indigenous groups. The results show that colonist areas have substantially higher rates of deforestation and forest fragmentation. Nevertheless, substantial variation in landuse patterns exists among the five indigenous groups. These results indicate that stereotypes of rapacious colonists and sustainable indigenous peoples should be set aside as part of a more nuanced understanding of frontier land use, which is vital to developing better policies for sustainable development and rainforest conservation.