The last 40 years, changes in land use in Quilcas, a community in the Mantaro Valley in central Peru
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The study covers the changes in land use in the period between 1960 and 2001. Eight workshops were held, each with different groups of farmers in which maps were generated. All maps were hand drawn on a 1/25000 base map of community owned lands obtained from the Ministry of Agriculture. The maps thus constructed are of past land use, present use, farmers´ soil classification, and a map of desired future land use. The various maps showed loss of land accessibility in all three agro-ecological life zones, although the most dramatic loss occurred in the highlands pastures. The significant changes illustrated in the middle agro-ecological zone were the abandonment of sectoral fallow systems; the loss of water sources, irrigation canals, irrigated land, and natural pastures, and, conversely an increase in eucalyptus plantations. The main crops maize and native potatoes, have crept up to higher agro-ecological life zones. Other changes that were unnoticed in the 1960´s included a loss of native bushes and trees, doubling in demand for communal pasture resources, increases in mining activities that invade highland pastures, and a recognition of eroded soils. The future map recognizes the challenge of a greater demand on the natural resources, which needs to be met with positive plans not only in soil and water management, but also in alliances and improved capacity of the community as a whole.