Comment: The effect of post-conflict transition on deforestation in protected areas in Colombia

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Daniel Schoenig, Jerome Dupras, Christian Messier


A recent study on Colombian protected areas has found an increase in deforestation after ending armed conflict. The authors propose several drivers behind this trend and take their findings as proof of how these drivers specifically affect protected areas and render them particularly vulnerable to deforestation during post-conflict transition. However, after conducting an extended analysis of the data, we show that the original study merely noticed a national trend of increased deforestation in Colombia, and that forests in national protected areas are actually less affected by the transition than other forests in Colombia. Given these results, the proposed drivers and conservation lessons of the original study can only be regarded as speculative. In this comment, we point out the conceptual and statistical shortcomings of the original study to discuss how to improve forest change analyses regarding policy relevance.



Environmental Sciences, Natural Resources and Conservation, Physical Sciences and Mathematics


armed conflict, forest change, South-America, tropical forests


Published: 2020-08-20 12:31

Last Updated: 2020-09-03 15:41

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CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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