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Land-use and socioeconomic changes related to armed conflicts: A Colombian regional case study

Garcia Corrales, Lina Maria, Avila, Humberto, Gutierrez, Ronald R.
Environmental science & policy 2019 v.97 pp. 116-124
case studies, census data, conservation areas, environmental factors, environmental governance, issues and policy, land cover, land use, livestock, pastures, satellites, Caribbean, Colombia
Colombia has endured one of the longest armed conflicts in the world, influencing land use, local economies, and the environment. The Department of Córdoba, which is part of the Colombian Caribbean region, was a setting of territorial disputes between illegal armed groups. Recently, peace agreements have been reached, thereby leading to a post-conflict period in which conflict-driven socioeconomic and environmental conditions need to be addressed. We used geoenvironmental satellite information and census data to describe land-use evolution in the Department of Córdoba. Our results explain relationships between socioeconomic and geographic variables by using two factors, namely: (1) natural land cover and armed conflict, and (2) pastures and livestock. Five clusters comprised of smaller Colombian territorial units were obtained, exhibiting challenges of environmental governance, conservation of protected areas, and sustainable livestock and agricultural practices. This information provides critical input for institutional decisions during the current post-conflict period.