Land-Use Competition in the South American Chaco


The dry forests of the Chaco in South America are under great land conversion pressure, mostly for establishing pastures and soybean fields. Taking recent estimates into account, the rates at which forests are disappearing are similar to those of the Amazon, but compared to the Amazon, the Chaco remains fairly understudied. The land transformations during the past decades went along with a substantial change in the type of actors dominating the Chaco landscape. In this chapter, we discuss the land changes in the Chaco during the past 30 years with emphasis on the actors driving these changes, as outlined in the conceptual chapter of this book section. In the Chaco, it appears that the competition over land is a competition in which the actors are endowed with varying degrees of power, resulting in highly unbalanced competition. This chapter highlights these differences and discusses the potential role of the state as an actor in the competition for land that may help to slow down deforestation in the area and guide the Chaco toward more sustainable land-use futures.

Land Use Competition. 215-229 Springer. ISBN: 978-3-319-33626-8978-3-319-33628-2
Tobias Kuemmerle
Tobias Kuemmerle
Professor & Head of the Conservation Biogeography Lab