Impending disaster or sliver of hope for Southeast Asian forests? The devil may lie in the details
Here, I report on how forest area in Southeast Asia has changed for different types of forest and across different countries between the periods of 1990–2000 and 2000–2005. The loss of old growth forests has accelerated in Indonesia, Cambodia and Vietnam but have ceased in Thailand, Malaysia, Laos and the Philippines. Secondary forests continue to be lost in Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines. Plantation forests have increased in area by 25.0% from 1990 to 2005 but still comprise only 6.2% of the total forest area in Southeast Asia. Overall, the loss of native forests (old growth and secondary forests) has slowed down in Thailand, the Philippines and Brunei but has worsened in Laos, Myanmar, Indonesia, Malaysia and Cambodia.
KeywordsDeforestation Fragmentation Tropics Rainforest Biodiversity
This work was supported by a graduate fellowship from the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University. I thank David Wilcove, Navjot Sodhi, Tien Ming Lee and Juanita Choo-Koh.
- FAO (1993) Forest Resources Assessment 1990: Tropical Countries. FAO Forestry Paper 112. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, RomeGoogle Scholar
- FAO (2001) Global Forest Resources Assessment 2000: Main Report. FAO Forestry Paper No. 140. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, RomeGoogle Scholar
- FAO (2005) Global Forest Resources Assessment 2005: Progress Towards Sustainable Forest Management. FAO Forestry Paper 147. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, RomeGoogle Scholar
- Mittermeier RA, Gil PR, Hoffman M et al (2004) Hotspots revisited: earth’s biologically richest and most endangered terrestrial ecoregions. Cemex, Conservation Interational and Agrupacio Sierra Madre, Monterrey, MexicoGoogle Scholar