Tropical forest monitoring, combining satellite and social data, to inform management and livelihood implications

Case studies from Indonesian West Timor

Rohan Fisher

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    Deforestation in the world's tropics is an urgent international issue. One response has been the development of satellite based monitoring initiatives largely focused on the carbon rich forests of western Indonesia. In contrast this study focuses on one eastern Indonesian district, Kabupaten Kupang, which has some of the largest and least studied tracts of remaining forest in West Timor. A combination of remote sensing, GIS and social science methods were used to describe the state of forests in Kabupaten Kupang, how and why they are changing. Using satellite imagery, case studies and on-ground interviews, this study explores the proposition that transdisciplinary local social, cultural and biophysical knowledge is important for effectively using remotely sensed data as a tool to inform local management policies. When compared to some other parts of Indonesia, the rate and extent of deforestation in West Timor was found to be relatively small and a satellite based assessment alone could conclude that it is not a critical issue. However this study showed that when on-ground social data are coupled with (such) satellitebased data a more complex picture emerges, related to key livelihood issues. The causes of forest cover change were found to be multivariate and location specific, requiring management approaches tailored to local social issues. This study suggests that integrative research can maximise the utility of satellite data for understanding causation and thus informing management strategies. In addition, the satellite based assessment found that at the time of the study less than 4% of forested land was within national parks and nature reserves and less than a third of the protected catchment forest zone was forested. These data suggest considerable scope for upland re-forestation activities or the redrawing of protected forest boundaries.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)77-84
    Number of pages8
    JournalInternational Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation
    Volume16
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012

    Fingerprint

    tropical forest
    Satellites
    Deforestation
    Monitoring
    monitoring
    deforestation
    Tropics
    Satellite imagery
    Social sciences
    Catchments
    Geographic information systems
    Remote sensing
    forest cover
    nature reserve
    satellite imagery
    satellite data
    national park
    Carbon
    GIS
    livelihood

    Cite this

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    title = "Tropical forest monitoring, combining satellite and social data, to inform management and livelihood implications: Case studies from Indonesian West Timor",
    abstract = "Deforestation in the world's tropics is an urgent international issue. One response has been the development of satellite based monitoring initiatives largely focused on the carbon rich forests of western Indonesia. In contrast this study focuses on one eastern Indonesian district, Kabupaten Kupang, which has some of the largest and least studied tracts of remaining forest in West Timor. A combination of remote sensing, GIS and social science methods were used to describe the state of forests in Kabupaten Kupang, how and why they are changing. Using satellite imagery, case studies and on-ground interviews, this study explores the proposition that transdisciplinary local social, cultural and biophysical knowledge is important for effectively using remotely sensed data as a tool to inform local management policies. When compared to some other parts of Indonesia, the rate and extent of deforestation in West Timor was found to be relatively small and a satellite based assessment alone could conclude that it is not a critical issue. However this study showed that when on-ground social data are coupled with (such) satellitebased data a more complex picture emerges, related to key livelihood issues. The causes of forest cover change were found to be multivariate and location specific, requiring management approaches tailored to local social issues. This study suggests that integrative research can maximise the utility of satellite data for understanding causation and thus informing management strategies. In addition, the satellite based assessment found that at the time of the study less than 4{\%} of forested land was within national parks and nature reserves and less than a third of the protected catchment forest zone was forested. These data suggest considerable scope for upland re-forestation activities or the redrawing of protected forest boundaries.",
    keywords = "deforestation, forest cover, forest management, GIS, remote sensing, satellite imagery, tropical forest, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia, Lesser Sunda Islands, Sunda Isles, Timor, West Timor",
    author = "Rohan Fisher",
    year = "2012",
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    doi = "10.1016/j.jag.2011.12.004",
    language = "English",
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    pages = "77--84",
    journal = "International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation",
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    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Tropical forest monitoring, combining satellite and social data, to inform management and livelihood implications

    T2 - Case studies from Indonesian West Timor

    AU - Fisher, Rohan

    PY - 2012/6

    Y1 - 2012/6

    N2 - Deforestation in the world's tropics is an urgent international issue. One response has been the development of satellite based monitoring initiatives largely focused on the carbon rich forests of western Indonesia. In contrast this study focuses on one eastern Indonesian district, Kabupaten Kupang, which has some of the largest and least studied tracts of remaining forest in West Timor. A combination of remote sensing, GIS and social science methods were used to describe the state of forests in Kabupaten Kupang, how and why they are changing. Using satellite imagery, case studies and on-ground interviews, this study explores the proposition that transdisciplinary local social, cultural and biophysical knowledge is important for effectively using remotely sensed data as a tool to inform local management policies. When compared to some other parts of Indonesia, the rate and extent of deforestation in West Timor was found to be relatively small and a satellite based assessment alone could conclude that it is not a critical issue. However this study showed that when on-ground social data are coupled with (such) satellitebased data a more complex picture emerges, related to key livelihood issues. The causes of forest cover change were found to be multivariate and location specific, requiring management approaches tailored to local social issues. This study suggests that integrative research can maximise the utility of satellite data for understanding causation and thus informing management strategies. In addition, the satellite based assessment found that at the time of the study less than 4% of forested land was within national parks and nature reserves and less than a third of the protected catchment forest zone was forested. These data suggest considerable scope for upland re-forestation activities or the redrawing of protected forest boundaries.

    AB - Deforestation in the world's tropics is an urgent international issue. One response has been the development of satellite based monitoring initiatives largely focused on the carbon rich forests of western Indonesia. In contrast this study focuses on one eastern Indonesian district, Kabupaten Kupang, which has some of the largest and least studied tracts of remaining forest in West Timor. A combination of remote sensing, GIS and social science methods were used to describe the state of forests in Kabupaten Kupang, how and why they are changing. Using satellite imagery, case studies and on-ground interviews, this study explores the proposition that transdisciplinary local social, cultural and biophysical knowledge is important for effectively using remotely sensed data as a tool to inform local management policies. When compared to some other parts of Indonesia, the rate and extent of deforestation in West Timor was found to be relatively small and a satellite based assessment alone could conclude that it is not a critical issue. However this study showed that when on-ground social data are coupled with (such) satellitebased data a more complex picture emerges, related to key livelihood issues. The causes of forest cover change were found to be multivariate and location specific, requiring management approaches tailored to local social issues. This study suggests that integrative research can maximise the utility of satellite data for understanding causation and thus informing management strategies. In addition, the satellite based assessment found that at the time of the study less than 4% of forested land was within national parks and nature reserves and less than a third of the protected catchment forest zone was forested. These data suggest considerable scope for upland re-forestation activities or the redrawing of protected forest boundaries.

    KW - deforestation

    KW - forest cover

    KW - forest management

    KW - GIS

    KW - remote sensing

    KW - satellite imagery

    KW - tropical forest

    KW - East Nusa Tenggara

    KW - Indonesia

    KW - Lesser Sunda Islands

    KW - Sunda Isles

    KW - Timor

    KW - West Timor

    U2 - 10.1016/j.jag.2011.12.004

    DO - 10.1016/j.jag.2011.12.004

    M3 - Article

    VL - 16

    SP - 77

    EP - 84

    JO - International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation

    JF - International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation

    SN - 1569-8432

    ER -