Raising the alert about critical feedbacks between climate and long-term land use change in the Amazon

Contact person: Anja Rammig

Flagship activity: Ecosystem stability and dynamics

Amazalert_logo.jpgAMAZALERT will enable raising the alert about critical feedbacks between climate, society, land-use change, vegetation change, water availability and policies in Amazonia. We will:

1.  analyze and improve coupled models of global climate and Amazon, land use, vegetation and socio-economic drivers to quantify anthropogenic and climate induced land-use and land cover change and non-linear, irreversible feedbacks among these components
2.  assess the role of regional and global policies and societal responses in the Amazon region for altering the trajectory of land-use change in the face of climate change and other anthropogenic factors and finally
3.  propose i) an Early Warning System for detecting any imminent irreversible loss of Amazon ecosystem services, ii) policy response strategies to prevent such loss.

We first prioritise the functions of Amazonia and threats to these. We then will analyse uncertainties in biogeochemistry, land cover (vegetation), land-use change and regional hydrology , as well as nonlinear responses and feedbacks using existing and new simulations from state of the art models in which land surface is coupled to global climate. The way in which policies and possible future response strategies of policy makers, trade and economy will affect land-use change will be modelled. This will lead to (A) understanding the impact on and effectiveness of a range of international and regional policy options, including REDD+; and (B) identification of both biophysical and socio-economic indicators of irreversible change.

AMAZALERT integrates the multidisciplinary knowledge and research of world-renowned, highly influential climate, land cover, land use change scientists and also policy analysts from 14 European and South-American institutions that have been collaborating for 10 to 30 years. Thus, this project can achieve maximum impact on EU (2020 climate goals), international and South-American strategies, including REDD.


Research area: ENV.2011.1.1.5-1: Impacts of climate and land use changes in the Amazon
Stichting Dienst Landbouwkundig Onderzoek - ALTERRA, Costerweg 50, Wageningen, Netherlands
Start date:
End date:
36 months
Project Cost:
4.76 million euro
Contract Type:
Small or medium-scale focused research project
Project Funding:
3.49 million euro
Project URL: