Over the last century, natural processes, in conjunction with the dynamics of colonization and expansion of productive activities related to the exploitation of renewable and non-renewable resources, have led to an accelerated rate of transformation of the landscape of the Colombian Amazon. According to SINCHI, the Amazon is the region with the highest amount of natural forests, however it also contains the highest rates of transformation of terrestrial ecosystems.
Currently, the activities that exert the greatest pressure on the landscape are cattle ranching, exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons, hydropower, road construction and legal and illegal mining. Additionally, agriculture, logging, fishing, wildlife trafficking and illegal crops have a significant effect on the transformation of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.
Some of the direct or indirect effects resulting from the transformation of the landscape include habitat fragmentation, soil erosion, loss of biological and cultural diversity, water pollution, bioaccumulation of toxic substances in animals belonging to man’s the food chain and the alteration of ecosystem dynamics. These impacts transcend spatial and temporal boundaries, having now spanned across the time and space of multiple generations. The severity of these effects will depend on the specific context of each process of territorial transformation.
Jaramillo D., Rojas A., Ortíz N. 2011. Retos para un desarrollo sostenible: Transformaciones en la Amazonia colombiana. Fundación Alisos. Bogotá D.C. – Colombia. 126 p.