Maps & Data FAQ

What are these maps for?

The Climate Alliance Mapping Project (CAMP) is a collaborative effort between academics, environmental NGOs, and indigenous organizations working for a socially just response to climate change. Through participatory action research and digital story mapping, CAMP aims to engage the public, build activist and community networks, and inform policy decisions related to keeping fossil fuels in the ground. CAMP was created in response to research showing that to limit average global temperature rise to 2℃, two-thirds of global fossil fuel reserves must remain in the ground. The CAMP website and map are a resource and storytelling platform that support the work of front-line communities – those living alongside fossil fuel development who are directly challenging extraction. Learn more about the project background.

Why begin in the Amazon?

In the debate over where to keep fossil fuels in the ground, the Amazon is a critical place to start. Home to the world’s largest and most biologically diverse tropical forest covering an area larger than the continental US, the Amazon Basin houses one-third of the earth’s plant and animal species, produces a fifth of the world’s freshwater and plays a critical role in regulating our global climate as it produces oxygen and absorbs carbon, and drives global weather patterns. Oil and gas development in the Amazon pose a triple threat for climate. They not only increase CO2 emissions from fuel combustion, they also require massive deforestation for roads and pipelines. Fallen trees produce greenhouse gas emissions and decrease the ecosystem’s ability to capture and store atmospheric carbon.

The Amazon is also home to nearly 400 distinct indigenous peoples that depend on the Amazon for their physical and cultural survival. Many indigenous communities have been working to end fossil fuel development in the Amazon for decades.

CAMP developed out of conversations between researchers at the University of Arizona and staff at Amazon Watch, a nonprofit organization that works directly with indigenous communities in the Amazon region of Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru to build local capacity and advance the long-term protection of their lands. Together with the Sierra Club, Amazon Watch convened a group of 50 environmental and indigenous organizations as the Americas-wide initiative to advance climate equity, which identified mapping as a key strategy to support ongoing campaigns to keep fossil fuels underground. The initial CAMP map visualizes the Amazon Basin and the project is being expanded to cover the entire Americas.

Who made these maps?

The CAMP maps were developed by a team of graduate student and faculty researchers at University of Arizona. The research team is lead by Dr. Tracey Osborne, Director of the Public Political Ecology Lab. Dr. Osborne has expertise in climate change mitigation, carbon markets and the role of indigenous peoples in forest-based carbon offset projects. The research team is committed to promoting a socially just response to climate change that respects the lands and sovereignty of indigenous peoples. Learn more about the research team.

Where is the map data from?

Data for the map comes from a variety of sources including nonprofit research collaboratives, academic projects, and government bureaus. The important source for the Amazon map is RAISG (Red Amazónica de Información Socioambiental Georreferenciada), a coalition of NGOs based in Amazonian countries that created a map and extensive report called Amazon Under Pressure. Their approach and research are crucial for the successful creation of the CAMP Amazon Basin Map.

Below are short descriptions of the data used for each layer, followed by a full list of data sources for each map layer and country. Note: all data sources are also listed in the pop-up window that appears when you click on a layer.

Amazon Basin Extent

CAMP uses an extent for the Amazonian Basin that has been used in several other similar maps. This extent was created by The Nature Conservancy and World Wildlife Fund.

Indigenous Territories

CAMP uses data for Indigenous Territories that are available, which varies by country. In some countries, the data included traditional territories that are not recognized by the government. ln other countries, the data we collected only shows the territories that are recognized by the national government. In most cases, our map follows the Indigenous territories displayed on the RAISG map, which include some territories not recognized by national governments.

Conservation Areas

Designations of protected areas vary between countries. While we generally used national maps of conservation and protected areas, there will be inconsistencies (for example, one country might include privately owned conservation allotments and another only public). We attempted to include both federally and regionally administered conservation areas where data were available.

Fossil Fuel Reserves

Aside from seven geological reserves mapped by the 2014 USGS Global Petroleum Assessment, fossil fuel reserves refer to blocks of land with existing leases for oil and gas development. CAMP data for fossil fuel reserves in most of the Western Amazon come from Matt Finer, a researcher with the Amazon Conservation Association. His data is generally from government sources and designated oil and gas developments in two categories: areas under current production and areas in the processes of licensing and exploration. While there are differences in how permitting is performed across countries, CAMP categorizes development blocks as either existing or proposed. In some cases leases in the Western Amazon have been updated with more current data obtained directly from government websites. Data for fossil fuel production in Brazil come for the Brazilian Petroleum Agency.

Continental

Amazonian Basin Extent: The Nature Conservancy and World Wildlife Fund, derived from the Freshwater Ecoregions of the World dataset by Paulo Petry and shared by Matt Finer.

Fossil Fuel Geological Reserves: U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) 2014 Global Petroleum Assessment, Latin America Undiscovered Oil Reserves

Brazil

Fossil Fuel Reserves: Agencia Nacional do Petróleo (ANP)

Indigenous Territories: Instituto Socioambiental (ISA, coordinator of RAISG)

Conservation Areas: Instituto Socioambiental (ISA, coordinator of RAISG)

Venezuela

Indigenous Territories: RAISG (hand digitized)

Conservation Areas: Provita (RAISG member)

Ecuador

Fossil Fuel Reserves: Amazon Conservation Association

Indigenous Territories: RAISG (hand digitized)

Conservation Areas: Ecuadorian Ministry of the Environment (MAE)

Bolivia

Fossil Fuel Reserves:  Amazon Conservation Association

Indigenous Territories: GeoBolivia

Conservation Areas: GeoBolivia

Peru

Fossil Fuel Reserves:  Amazon Conservation Association

Indigenous Territories: Instituto de Bien Común

Conservation Areas: Peruvian Ministry of the Environment: National Service for Natural and Protected Areas (SERNANP)

Colombia

Fossil Fuel Reserves: Sistema de información geográfica para la planeación y el ordenamiento territorial (SIGOT) with support from Gaia Amazonas, Colombia (RAISG member)

Indigenous Territories: Sistema de información geográfica para la planeación y el ordenamiento territorial (SIGOT), with support from Gaia Amazonas, Colombia (RAISG member)

Conservation Areas: Parques Nacionales de Colombia, with support from Gaia Amazonas, Colombia (RAISG member)

Why is _____ missing from the maps?

In its initial phase, the CAMP map has only been developed to cover the extent of the Amazon Basin. The project is a work in progress and will be expanded to the entire Americas beginning with North America in phase two. Aside from the digital stories, the maps are based on secondary data that CAMP acquired from reliable research and government sources. However, as with all data there could be errors and there are limitations and gaps to what can be included.

The data we visualize are also dynamic and its possible things have changed since the data was last collected. Oil and gas projects sometimes evolve quickly and the maps shown here may not show the full extent of developments. Indigenous territories are also recognized with varying degrees of formality and the CAMP map may not show the full extent recognized by a community in the present moment.

Please contact us if you think you’ve found an error on the maps.

Who funded this project?

Research and website development for the Climate Alliance Mapping Project were supported by funding from the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation. The Switzer Foundation’s mission is to support environmental leaders and initiatives that improve environmental quality.

The project also received support from the Institute of the Environment at the University of Arizona and the Gaia Fund.

Has this project been translated?

You can view most of the website content in Spanish using a button in the upper-right corner of the page. It is a priority to have the entire site available in English, Spanish and Portuguese so that it is easily accessible for users across the Americas.

How can I learn more about this project?

CAMP is an ongoing project. For more information please contact Tracey Osborne (tosborne@email.arizona.edu).