MAAP #29: Construction of New Road between Manu National Park and Amarakaeri Communal Reserve (Madre de Dios)

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Here in MAAP #29, we describe the Nuevo Eden-Boca Manu-Boca Colorado road project in the southern Peruvian Amazon (Madre de Dios region). The objective of this article is to show the current state of construction and quantify the direct and indirect deforestation caused thus far by the road. This is a controversial road project because it cuts through the buffer zones of two important protected areas, the Amarakaeri Communal Reserve and Manu National Park*.



Image 29a shows the general context of the area between Amarakaeri  and Manu where the road is being constructed. The yellow line indicates the section of road built in 2015 (11.6 km) between the towns of New Eden and Shipetiari (see right panel for high-resolution image of this construction). The red line indicates the new section under construction thus far in 2016 (21.8 km). Thus, in total, we have documented the construction of 33.4 km of road within the Amarakaeri Communal Reserve buffer zone. Finally, the pink line indicates the future road section planned to Boca Manu and then to Boca Colorado.

Road Construction in 2015

Image 29b shows a series of satellite images (Landsat) that illustrate the rapid road construction during 2015. The first two panels show the construction of 11.6 km between February (left panel) and October (central panel) 2015. The yellow arrows in the central panel indicate the direct deforestation (20 hectares) associated with construction of the route. The yellow circles in the right panel indicate the indirect (secondary) deforestation associated with the road (12 hectares). Thus, in total, we have documented the deforestation of 32 hectares (or 79 acres) associated with the road as of mid-March 2016.


Image 29b. Data: NASA/USGS.

New Road Construction in 2016

Image 29c shows the continued road construction (2.9 km) between January and mid-March 2016 (see orange arrows in the left panel). Moreover, using high-resolution imagery provided by Planet Labs, the right panel shows a new path (see red arrows) that is likely the leading edge of the current road construction. This path now extends an additional 19 km in the direction of Boca Manu (see Image 29d).


Image 29c. Data: NASA/USGS, Planet Labs

Imagen Xd. Datos: USGS

Image 29d. Data: NASA/USGS


*MINAM (2016) MINAM está en contra de predictamen que permitiría la construcción de la carretera en zona de amortiguamiento del Manu y de Amarakaeri.

MINAM (2015) MINAM y SERNANP manifiestan preocupación por aprobación de ley que declara de interés nacional carretera en zona de amortiguamiento del Manu y Amarakaeri.


Finer M, Novoa S, Olexy T (2016) Construction of a New Highway between Manu National Park and Amarakaeri Communal Reserve (Madre de Dios), 2016. MAAP: 29.

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