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Linking Ecosystem Services to Food Security in a Changing Planet:  assessing Peruvian Amazon deforestation using the Artificial Intelligence for Ecosystem Services (ARIES) framework

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  ASABE 1st Climate Change Symposium: Adaptation and Mitigation Conference Proceedings  152119001.(doi:10.13031/cc.20152119001)
Authors:   Wendy Francesconi, Elena Perez Miñana, Simon Willcock, Ferdinando Villa, Marcela Quintero
Keywords:   Climate change

Extended Abstract. There is an increasing need to incorporate ecosystem services into natural resource management and development-related decision-making. The region surrounding the Amazon city of Pucallpa in Peru has been experiencing fast deforestation events over recent decades. Land use changes from forest to agriculture have had limited success increasing wellbeing for local communities. Timber extraction and the incorporation of oil palm plantations are changing the biophysical environment and human-nature dynamics in the region. Monitoring these changes is necessary to develop a comprehensive understanding of deforestation drivers, their socio-economic and political context, their impact on ecosystem services and food security, as well as their future effects in response to climate change. Furthermore, the rapid exploitation of natural resources driven by human activities is a global phenomenon affecting not just the Peruvian Amazon. However, these human-nature interactions are not a one-way phenomenon, it is necessary to develop models that can integrate human activities and perceptions with biophysical information to understand both the effect humans have on the natural system, and also how resulting changes in nature cause concomitant effects on humans; such feedback loops have potential for extreme adverse impacts via tipping points. ARIES is a dynamic modeling platform which uses artificial intelligence techniques to simulate and evaluate these links; following flows of ecosystem services from nature to disaggregated beneficiaries, allowing for differentiated shifts in human behavior which may alter future availability of these ecosystem services. A set of processed-based models are being integrated in ARIES and used in Pucallpa to identify: the changes of ecosystem service flows in response to changes in land-use and climate, the impact and extent of future land-use scenarios to the Pucallpa region, and the essential food provision needs of the local communities. The expected results are intended to inform both natural resource management and policy-making for development activities.

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