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remote sensing

Environmental Management Study of the Tangkiling District along River Rungan in Central Kalimantan, using Remote Sensing and GIS; 9-2005


presented at
Open Science Meeting (OSM III)
in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, 27-29 Sept 2005
Dr. H.-D.V. Boehm a), Olga Sara Ramirez b) and Daniela Bustillo c)

a) Kalteng Consultants, Germany + Indonesia
b) Universidade Tecnologica de Pereira, Colombia, Carrera
c) Jalan Tjilik Riwut km36, Rungan-Sari, Palangkaraya, 73225, Indonesia


Vast areas of peat swamp forest (PSF) cover the coastal plains of Central Kalimantan from the Java Sea up to the provincial capital of Palangkaraya and further North. PSF is among the earth's most endangered ecosystem, with a huge carbon storage capacity ref.7+10, extremely fragile to disturbance. Landsat ETM images 118-61+62, acquired on 14.Jan/15.Feb2003, were compared by using detailed analysis of the region around the Tangkiling granite hills and the black water river Rungan north of Palangkaraya.

These images show major changes in this largest remnant of tropical peatland related to extreme rates of deforestation and fires in 2002, since 1997, compared to older Landsat images from 1991/1997/2000, ref.3+4. With the establishment of the Mega Rice Project (MRP) and the infrastructures of roads, many people were able to enter the previously inaccessible interior of this peatland landscape, exploit residual timber resources, mostly on an illegal basis, and using fire for land clearance as the most economical method. Ground truthing were done in this study area in 2004. We analyzed several maps around the Tangkiling hills, Sei Gohong and Rungan-Sari with areas of PSF, grassland, agriculture, scrub, riparian gallery, regrowth, secondary forest, home gardens, burnt areas from 2002, settlement, sand, water bodies etc.

We formulate and prioritize strategies of the area trying to combine needs of conservation and needs of local people to recover biodiversity and improve the land situation. The minor el Nino of 2002 in that region led to human health problems, although somewhat less serious than in 1997. Previous legal logging prepared the ground for further degradation of forests by fire and illegal logging. If this situation continues there is a high risk of most PSF of Central Kalimantan being destroyed within a few years. This would have grave consequences for the local hydrology, climate, biodiversity and livelihood of local population. Keywords: Central-Kalimantan, Tropical-Peatland PSF, Conservation, Environmental Management, Fires 2002, Remote Sensing/GIS, Landsat, GPS, Tangkiling/Sei Gohong/Rungan-Sari

Land Cover Map from Tangkiling, Bukit Batu