Alvaro Cañadas, Juan Carlos Camargo, Ximena Reyes:
Communities Classification as a Base for the Understanding of Dynamics of the Land Use in Protected Forest Sumaco


1Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Institute of Forest Management, Germany
2Universidad Tecnológica de Pereira, Faculty of Environmental Sciences, Colombia
3Escuela Politécnica del Ejercito, Faculty of Geographic Engineering, Ecuador

A series of publications make references to the problems about in the management of the Protected Forests in Ecuador. Nevertheless the literature totally limits itself to a general description of the situation without considering neither the real problems of the local population in these areas nor the state of conservation in the natural resources. It is necessary to mention, that National Parks and others Protected Areas becomes synonymous with the natural resources. It is necessary to mention, that National Parks and others Protected Areas becomes synonymous with ``Paper Parks and Protected Areas'' in many developing countries after it was noted that, conservation measures did not produce any visible impacts in the pristine forest. More importantly, for effective and efficient conservation of a Protected Forest systems, both realistic description on the local communities behavior and regional land use dynamics need to be taken into accounted. Furthermore, formulating of police requires better knowledge of what the community actually do. The study below responds to this need by providing some descriptive insight into the land use patterns of the communities in the Protected Forest Sumaco. In order to incorporate the spatial information into analysis, topographic maps and tenancy map were digitalized into Geography Information System (GIS) to use as input layers. Then these maps and temporal satellite images from 1995, and 1997 were used in GIS analysis to get a deep insight into the temporal and spatial variations in the land use dynamics of the areas. In additional, Participative Rural Appraisal (PRA) methodology was employed with a sampling intensity of 38%, which collected socioeconomics information of local communities and biophysical conditions of the local resources bases. Cluster Analysis was conduced with a view to aggregate the local communities, and Discriminate Analysis was also performed to identified the factors affecting the grouping of the communities of Protected Forest Sumaco. Finally, three strategies were proposed to address the problems for effective conservation of the Protected Forest and sustainable development of the area.

Keywords: Cluster analysis, discriminate analysis, GIS, neotropical forest, Ecuador

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Contact Address: Alvaro Cañadas, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Institute of Forest ManagementBüsgenweg 5, 37077 Göttingen, Germany, e-mail:
Andreas Deininger, September 2004