This paper analyzes temporal changes in land cover composition in four multi-village landscapes dominated by smallholder agriculture in the Peruvian Amazon. The objective of this study was to use Earth Observation data and remote sensing methods to characterize and compare historical patterns of land cover change at these locations between 1987 and 2017. The research was part of a broader project examining migration patterns and their impact on forests and forest livelihoods in Peru, and therefore this land cover change analysis will be used with other data gathered on migration and related socioeconomic characteristics of residents in selected village sites to understand the connection between changes in forest cover and demographic and socioeconomic changes.
In this report, we briefly summarize the overarching project and the rationale for this particular study. We then introduce the methodology used to define landscape sites and to analyze land use at these sites. The core of this paper will present the results of that analysis to highlight key observations and patterns. After the Results section, we discuss comparisons between these landscapes and implications of the patterns observed. The last section of the paper offers our conclusions.