Saturday, March 21, 2015

Biodiversity protected areas in Indonesia ineffective in preventing deforestation

A press release from National University of Singapore: Establishing protected areas in forests is one way to keep deforestation at bay and safeguard biodiversity. However, a study led by researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS) has revealed that such a measure is ineffective in the case of biodiversity-focused protected areas in Indonesia.

The research, led by Assistant Professor Roman Carrasco of the Department of Biological Sciences at the NUS Faculty of Science and Assistant Professor Alex Cook of NUS’ Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, found that the monitoring and prevention of road constructi
on within protected areas and stepping up control measures in illegal logging hotspots would be more effective for conservation than reliance on protected areas alone.

...Global rates of tropical deforestation have increased over the last two decades, particularly in Southeast Asia, which lost approximately 32 million hectares of forests between 1990 and 2010. During this period, Indonesia accounted for approximately 61 per cent of forest loss in Southeast Asia.

“Extensive deforestation in Indonesia is a cause for global concern as it contributes substantially to land-based global carbon emissions and potentially high rates of biodiversity loss,” explained Asst Prof Carrasco.

...The research, conducted by Mr Cyrille Brun, a Masters student at the NUS Faculty of Science under the supervision of Asst Prof Carrasco and Asst Prof Cook, looked at the five main islands of Indonesia, namely Sumatra, Java, Kalimantan, Sulawesi and Papua. By using remote sensing maps of land use change from 2000 to 2010 to construct spatial Bayesian models, they analysed deforestation patterns in Indonesia as well as the effectiveness of protected areas. The team used the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classification of protected areas in order to evaluate the influence of potential factors on deforestation and project future deforestation.

The models showed that deforestation between 2010 and 2020 is likely to occur in close proximity to the areas that have been deforested before 2010, identifying the south and west part of Kalimantan, the north-west Sumatra and West Papua as areas that will be subject to the greatest rates of deforestation...

A logging road in East Kalimantan, shot by Aidenvironment, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license 

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