Land-use change derived from a road opening in the forests of Darien, Colombia


Luisa Fernanda Lema Velez

Advisor: Tim Clark


I aim to assess the impacts of road opening on land use cover change in the Darien area of Colombia. Particularly, I would be quantifying land cover transformation around the road that connects the settlements of El Tigre and Lomas Aisladas. This road is the last portion of the failed joint of the Pan-American Highway between Central and South America.

This short-term study aims to be the first step of a larger project. If possible, such project would model the effect of the completion of the Pan-American Highway in land-use dynamics by means of DINAMICA software. The closing of the gap in the Pan-American Highway that currently exists between Panama and Colombia is being discussed by both governments and represents a large priority for Colombia. At the same time, it has generated a large controversy among environmentalists and defenders of indigenous communities due to the widely recognized effects that the project would have on cultural and natural resources.

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22 April 2005