Modeling future deforestation in Peru

Downloadable tool projects forest loss at country or regional level through 2030
CIFOR-ICRAF scientists visit a carbon monitoring site in Quistococha, Peru. Photo by Junior Raborg/CIFOR-ICRAF

Related stories

Planners in Peru can model different scenarios for deforestation, greenhouse gas emissions and carbon credits using a new tool developed by scientists at the Centre for International Forestry Research and World Agroforestry (CIFOR-ICRAF), Brazil’s Federal University of Minas Gerais and the Center for Territorial Intelligence in Minas Gerais.

The simulation tool, called SimPeru and released in December 2023, can be downloaded here at no cost and runs on Dinamica EGO software (which can be downloaded here). With it, policy makers can model future deforestation under a business-as-usual scenario and a scenario of compliance with Peru’s greenhouse gas emission-reduction commitments under the Paris Agreement. They can also take into consideration a particular region’s forest plan.

A snapshot from SimPeru shows a comparative landscape simulation result under different policy conditions.

Users can explore the data for the entire country or by region or department, as well as by land-use category, such as protected areas, forests zoned for timber production, and Indigenous and local communities. The tool enables policy makers to compare scenarios and explore impacts of policies aimed at meeting Peru’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

The modeling tools grew out of studies of deforestation patterns and frontiers, as well as a series of dialogues between scientists and policy makers as part of the CIFOR-ICRAF Global Comparative Study on REDD+. In the study, the largest ever of its kind, researchers working in more than 20 countries have gathered evidence that can aid policy makers in the analysis and implementation of REDD+ (reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation). Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF), which includes deforestation, is the largest source of anthropogenic emissions in Peru.

The Global Comparative Study brings scientists and policy makers together to develop strategies for reducing deforestation and forest degradation. The downloadable SimPeru tool is a first step in systematizing information about future deforestation, emissions and the potential of financing for REDD+ in Peru.

“This type of tool is very promising, because the context in which it will be used is changing very fast,” said Richard Van der Hoff of the Federal University of Minas Gerais. “It’s easier for policy makers to talk about scenarios if they have a tool that allows them to visualize impacts.” 

Developers hope to expand the modeling tools in the future, Van der Hoff said. One possibility is to include forest degradation in the scenarios. Another is to include Amazonian peatlands once enough data are available, he said. Studies in Peru have shown that Amazonian peatlands are an important carbon sink, and that degradation of palm swamps can be an even greater source of greenhouse gas emissions than deforestation.

The new modeling tool puts scientific evidence from a variety of ecosystems into the hands of policy makers to aid in decision making. Moreover, it allows policymakers to adapt parameters to explore different scenarios and immediately visualize their future effects in terms of emissions, emission reductions and REDD+ finance potential.

“We don’t have a crystal ball, but based on prior information, we can create a detailed scenario,” said Juliana Leroy Davis of the Center for Territorial Intelligence.

A similar tool is being developed for Democratic Republic of Congo, while an interactive platform for Brazil was launched in February.


For more information on this topic, please contact Christopher Martius:

Van der Hoff and the rest of the development team welcome feedback from users of the platform. Comments can be sent to


This work was carried out as part of the Center for International Forestry Research’s Global Comparative Study on REDD+ ( The funding partners that have supported this research include the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad, Grant No. QZA-21/0124), International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU, Grant No. 20_III_108), and CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (CRP-FTA) with financial support from CGIAR Fund Donors.

(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)
Copyright policy:
We want you to share Forests News content, which is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0). This means you are free to redistribute our material for non-commercial purposes. All we ask is that you give Forests News appropriate credit and link to the original Forests News content, indicate if changes were made, and distribute your contributions under the same Creative Commons license. You must notify Forests News if you repost, reprint or reuse our materials by contacting
Topic(s) :   REDD+ Climate change