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Remote Sensing Verification by Aerial Surveys and Ground Truth Campaigns 1997 and 1998 in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia - Peat Swamp Forest, Mega-Rice-Project and Fires, 3-1999

Singapore 3-1999

H.-D.V. Boehm & F. Siegert

CRISP-Singapore: Viktor Boehm, Lim Hock



The overall aim of Kalteng Consultants’ research programme, which started in 1995, is an investigation into the evolution and the economic potential of the peat swamp forest (P.S.F.) resource in Central Kalimantan by remote sensing techniques.

A multispectral and multitemporal image analysis has been used to monitor the environmental importance and agricultural potential as well as wildlife conservation aspects. This report gives information about field trails to Central Kalimantan in March 1997 and in June and Nov. 1998. Typically, the natural vegetation that is found in most tropical peatlands are rainforest trees of commercial value, e.g. Ramin. Selective harvesting is probably the most sustainable use of this resource, but when more destructive developments take place, sustainable harvesting can no longer be practised.

The current status of forestry on tropical peatlands needs to be determined - especially defining the different categories of forests, e.g. production forest, conversion forest, protected forest, along with forest policies on logging and other activities. The 1 Million ha (Mega)-Rice-Project for rice cultivation, which included transmigration schemes, started with a feasibility study and, in April 1996, with the digging of the irrigation channels into the peat swamp. The development of an area of one million hectares in Central Kalimantan, situated between the Rivers Sebangau in the west, River Kahayan, River Kapuas and River Barito in the east, and the Java Sea in the south, is planned and partly realised. The total area of impact is 1.4 million hectares for the Blocks A, B, C, D and E. The project faces problems of peat domes with a height up to 1 0m between the main rivers. Satellite-images of the heavy forest fires in Autumn 1997 in Central Kalimantan has been processed.

To undertake global monitoring/survey in a short time, it was essential to use LANDSAT Thematic Mapper, SPOT and ERS1/2 Radar images, linked to a programme of field checking of forest and the status of development of peatland and peat condition. Remote sensing technology was used for all survey, monitoring and planning tasks. This paper presents some of the results from LANDSAT, SPOT, ERS1 and ERS2 image processing activities, from aerial surveys on 13 and 27 June and 3 November 1998, as well as from several ground truth campaigns in 1997 and 1998 (compare with Kalteng report 1996). Between 1995 and 1998, this area of Central Kalimantan was visited 7 times.