Title: Changes in tropical forest cover of Southeast Asia from 1990 to 2010
Authors: STIBIG Hans-JurgenACHARD FredericCARBONI SilviaRASI RastislavMIETTINEN JUKKA ILMARI
Citation: BIOGEOSCIENCES vol. 11 no. 2 p. 247-258
Publisher: COPERNICUS GESELLSCHAFT MBH
Publication Year: 2014
JRC N°: JRC83025
ISSN: 1726-4170
URI: http://www.biogeosciences.net/11/247/2014/
http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC83025
DOI: 10.5194/bg-11-247-2014
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: The study assesses the extent and trends of forest cover in Southeast Asia for the period 1990-2000-2010 and provides an overview on the main drivers of forest cover change. A systematic sample of 418 sites (10 km x 10 km size) located at the one-degree geographical confluence points and covered with satellite imagery at 30 m resolution is used for the assessment. For the analysis of satellite imagery techniques of image segmentation and automated classification were combined with visual interpretation and quality control, involving experts from Southeast Asian countries. Two forest cover classes, namely ‘Tree Cover’ and ‘Tree Cover Mosaic’, and three non-forest land cover classes were mapped. Area measures were derived for the individual sample sites and aggregated to regional statistical estimates, accounting for differences in sampling intensity due to geographical latitude, and extrapolating to uniform reference dates. For estimating the accuracy of our results an independent consistency assessment was performed from a subsample of 1572 mapping units, resulting in an overall agreement of > 85% for the general differentiation of forest cover versus non-forest cover. Forest cover in Southeast Asia is estimated at 268 Mha in 1990, dropping to 236 Mha in 2010, with annual change rates of 1.75 Mha (~0.67%) and 1.45 Mha (~0.59%) for the periods 1990-2000 and 2000-2010, respectively. The vast majority of forest cover loss (~ 2/3 for 2000-2010) occurred in insular Southeast Asia. Analysing the change patterns visible from satellite imagery and combining with the output of an expert consultation on drivers of forest change, the conversion of forest cover to cash crop plantations is ranked as the dominant driver of forest change in Southeast Asia, followed by selective logging and the establishment of tree plantations.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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