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Two (windowed) Landsat TM images of Jambi province (Sumatra island): Left 16 May 1992, Right 1 May 1998. The black line is the approximate border of Berbak National Park. Peat fires in 1997 have destroyed most of the Production Forest on both sides of the Berbak/Batanghari river (red colour of damaged peat forest).
The Black&White image (16 May 1992) is a detail showing the natural vegetation inside Berbak National Park. (Note the logging tracks in the west). The image window is the same location where the big fire occurred in 1997/98 inside the Park (see image 1 May 1998). It shows that the fire most likely is connected to the Bush/Grasslands (inside the black line is bush land).
The darkred coloured area on the 1998 image, inside the Park, covers mainly these bush/grass lands, but there is some intrusion in the peat swamp forest lands. (bushland is darkred on the image of 1998). The lightred coloured area, north and east of the darkred coloured area is probably not burnt peat land, but might be low upland (the lightred colour pattern on the 1998 image gives too much heterogeneity after the fire for being burnt peat swampland).
These images give some prove to my statements as made elsewhere on this website .
This Black&White thumbnail image (1 May 1998) covers approximately the same area as the Black&White image above (16 May 1992). It shows that most of the dark grey area equals the bush/grassland on the image of 1992. The grey , burnt area in the north and east, north and south of the river shows light border lines which may be borders of low upland areas.
However it are the buffer zones of the Park which contribute to the biggest threat
It is obvious the Berbak National Park, situated in the swamps, is in great danger to be destroyed by the next El Niņo extreme dry season. There are too many logging activities in the buffer zone and the hazard of total destruction during the next extreme dry season is there. Production Forestry by selective cutting on the borders (and inside) of the Park is at present too much related to total destruction of Primary Swamp Forest. Alternatives for the present selective cutting system in the Forestry Concessions are highly needed! See Web page Problems.
Thanks to TRFIC (Tropical Rain Forest Information Center, Basic Science and Remote Sensing Initiative, Michigan State University) for the images. http://www.bsrsi.msu.edu./trfic . The original Landsat TM images provide much more information than these compressed images on this page. But especially the 1 May 1998 image remains quite detailed when you click the thumbnail image and it shows very well how these images can provide a lot of information where forests have disappeared in the last 10-20 years. This at very low costs.
There is an urgent need for an economic and sustainable forestry system in these swamp lands.
Also in Riau province there were severe forest fires during the last extreme dry season in 1997/98. Major fires were in the peat area between the Kampar river and the Guntung river. However the majority of the peat soil areas in Riau suffer only from excessive logging along the rivers, but are not (yet) suffering from forest fires. A major, very large oilpalm estate has been developed in recent years between Kampar and Guntung river which caused most of the fires in Riau. You can see the images on the website of TRFIC. Just south of the Kampar river the new oilpalm estate is located which caused the huge fires in 1997/98 (see especially image 5 March 2001). Click Sumatra on the SE-Asia map of the TRFIC archive, next click P126/R60 for the right scene location and use red for band 5, green for band 4 and blue for band 3 for best result and zoom in until 1:1 image to see the estate location in detail.
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