Land use and land-cover changes of conservation area during transition to regional autonomy : Case study of Balairaja Wildlife Reserve in Riau Province, Indonesia
Land use and land-cover change is a prominent issue for tropical forest management in South East Asian countries. However, the issue has seldom been addressed in Indonesian forest management policies even after the collapse of Soeharto regime and the so-called regional autonomy or decentralization in 1999. Regional autonomy aimed to achieve better management of forest areas. Unfortunately, in the implementation of regional autonomy, forest area encroachments were increasing leading to deforestation. There are many explanations behind the situation related to social-economy and the internal factors of the management capacity. However, insufficient spatial time series data to support the analysis was rarely realized. The paper presents land use and land-cover changes based on spatial and time series data from 1985 to 2004 of Balairaja conservation area (Balairaja Wildlife Reserve in Riau Province). We analyzed the data regarding historical processes of encroachment into conservation area, coupled with time series Landsat imageries. From the findings of the study, we made some conclusions. First, the government neglected the existence of local communities when the conservation area was established and resulted in unresolved conflicts. Second, small farmers were increasingly interested in clearing the forests for perennial crops, due to high price of oil palm and rubber as well as high demand for logs: Third, insufficient management capacity of conservation area in terms of number of personnel and facilities.
Tropics 17(2), 99-108, 2008-04-30
JAPAN SOCIETY OF TROPICAL ECOLOGY