Development of a baseline information system as a supporting tool for forest management planning using RS en GIS techniques. Case study: Kayan Mentarang Reserve (Kalimantan)

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Context and objectives

Tropical forest reserves play an essential role at the local level as well as on a regional and global scale. They are coming more and more under pressure, as they have to provide a number of socio-economic and ecological functions such as production, biodiversity, protection against soil erosion, tourism, Indonesia conducts an active policy with regard to protected areas, demanding that the organisations and offices involved submit management plans. WWF supports the Indonesian government in this policy. The Kayan Mentarang Strict Nature Reserve is on the priority list to receive the status of National Park. This implies that the managing offices must have the capacity to elaborate a detailed and up-to-date vegetation map in a limited period of time and to provide an operational planning tool for management.

Due to the large extent of the reserve, and the urgency of the monitoring aspect, it is obvious to make use of remote sensing techniques in a GIS environment. A software tool has been developed, incorporating the most common image processing and GIS functions needed for the management planning of a large forest area. The tools have been designed in such a way that they can also be applied for the elaboration of management plans for other, similar geographic areas.

Project outcome

Expected scientific results

Geographic database (GIS) containing several layers for the Kayan Mentarang Nature Reserve (see above)
Vegetation maps (3) derived from LANDSAT images
Software modules for decision-making purposes with regard to management and planning : creation of buffers, zonation, friction-routine for the calculation of the optimal location of new roads, and a number of specific image processing modules, such as filters, import of JERS-images, etc.
Poster and Web pages (Internet)
CD-ROM containing the GIS data, the software programmes and the two example applications

The integration of satellite images in the GIS is not straightforward for this region : on the one hand, the continuous cloud cover makes it hard to obtain optical satellite images of sufficient quality on a regular basis (which is a prerequisite for monitoring); on the other hand, radar images are hard to interpret because of the pronounced topography.

Similar projects have been executed in Central Africa (a.o. in Congo, Godzilla) in co-operation with the EC-ECOFAC programme.
Project leader(s): UGent - Laboratory of Forest Management and Spatial Information Techniques (FORSIT)
Location: Region:
  • Kayan Mentarang Reserve