Territory Stories

Prepare for Impact! When People and Environment Collide in the Tropics



Prepare for Impact! When People and Environment Collide in the Tropics

Other title

When people and environment collide in the tropics


Abdurohman, Rahman; Arnstrong, Rachel; Boggs, Guy; Bowman, David; Brook Barry; Bunn, Stuart; Campbell, Bruce; Cunningham, Anthony; Davies, Diane; Garnett, Stephen; Gerritsen, Rolf; Griffiths, Tony; Morrison, Joe; Yu, Peter; Wright, S. Joseph; Williams, Meryl; Tay, Simon; Steffe, Will; Stacey, Natasha; Srivastava, Leena; Sodhi, Navjot S; Sanchez-Azofeifa, Arturo; Resosudarmo, Budy P; Portillo-Quintero, Carlos; Nurdianto, Ditya Agung; Muller-Landau, Helene C


Stacey, Natasha E; Boggs, Guy S; Campbell, Bruce M.; Steffen, Will


E-Publications; E-Books; PublicationNT




South East Asia and tropical Australia are undergoing major changes, which are likely to intensify in the next decade. Booming economies in China and India, and potentially other countries, are likely to drive exponential increases in demands for natural resources. Climate change is likely to have severe impacts, ranging from those associated with changes in severity of cyclones, to those associated with sea level rise in shallow oceans. Land cover transformations, already a common feature in many parts, could well decimate biodiversity. Human disease outbreaks, which have already caused alarm and economic disruption, could remain a feature of the region. The challenges are immense; it is timely to reflect on transforming forces and our responses. In May 2006, an international symposium was held in Darwin in the Northern Territory of Australia, to discuss these very issues. This publication features papers by leading researchers and policy makers on the following themes:'Drivers of Change; 'Values & Livelihoods; 'What Are the Changes and Their Impacts? The editors of this book all have wide experience in this area. Dr Natasha Stacey is an anthropologist with expertise in natural resource management in the Asia-Pacific region. Dr Guy Boggs has focused his GIS and modelling research on the use of technologies for understanding changes in spatial patterns of vegetation distribution, erosion and runoff response. Prof Bruce Campbell works in the tropics on four continents from humid rainforests to dry woodlands and is focussed on achieving better outcomes for conservation and development and improving the well-being of people through natural resource management and use. Prof Will Steffen has research interests which span a broad range within the field of Earth System science.

Table of contents

Setting the scene -- Gerritsen : A resilient future for Northern Australia? People, economics and policy issues -- Resosudarmo : Setting the scene : driving forces of change in Southeast Asia -- Drivers of change -- Steffen : Climate change in the tropics -- Srivastava : Securing India's energy future : what does the world have to worry about? -- Tay : Trade and environment in Southeast Asia -- Williams : Food production systems and policy development in Southeast Asia -- Values and livelihoods -- Armstong et al : Indigenous land and sea management and sustainable business development in Northern Australia -- Garnett : Enterprise development by indigenous communities using natural resources : where do the benefits go? -- Campbell et al : Do local people and the environment collide? Who drives environmental change? -- What are the changes and their impacts? -- Cunningham : Culture, livelihoods and conservatism -- Sodhi and Brook : Biodiversity crisis in Southeast Asia -- Wright et al : The future of Southeast Asian forests and their species -- Bunn : Northern Australia -- all that water ... going to waste? -- Bowman : Time's up for Australia's last frontier.




0502 - Environmental Science and Management; Southeast Asia; Northern Australia; Natural Resource Management; Politics & Society

Publisher name

Charles Darwin University Press (CDU Press)

Place of publication



vi, 119 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm.

File type



9780980665017; 980665019



Copyright owner

Charles Darwin University Press (CDU Press)



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Table 2: Primary forest cover in the countries of Southeast Asia. Primary forest cover in 1990, 2000 and 2005 and annual change rates are from FAO (2006, Annex 3, Table 9). Area of primary forest (km2) Annual change rate(km2) Country 1990 2000 2005 19902000 20002005 Brunei 3,130 2,880 2,780 -25 -20 Cambodia 7,660 4,560 3,220 -310 -268 Indonesiavii 704,190 559,410 487,020 -14,478 -14,478 Lao PDR 14,900 14,900 14,900 - - Malaysia 38,200 38,200 38,200 - - Myanmar 0 0 0 - - Philippines 8,290 8,290 8,290 - - Singapore 20 20 20 - - Thailand 64,510 64,510 64,510 - - Timor-Leste - - - - - Viet Nam 3,840 1,870 850 -197 -204 Total6 844,740 694,640 619,790 -15,010 -14,970 These recent observed changes in primary forest area suggest country-specific projections of future primary forest area. This approach will be difficult to implement, however, because Indonesian New Guinea, which contributes more than half of the primary forest cover of the 11 Southeast Asian countries, cannot be isolated from the Indonesian data (Table 2). We will therefore consider the role played by forest reserves in each country. 3. Forest reserves and primary forest cover Effective forest reserves will prevent the loss of primary forests within their boundaries. This raises two questions relevant to projections of future primary forest cover in Southeast Asia. First, do the forest reserves of Southeast Asia support primary forest? And, second, are they effective? Several Southeast Asian countries have impressive systems of nationally and internationally recognised forest reserves (Table 3). The World Conservation Union and the United Nations Environment Program synthesize information on all protected natural areas in the World Data Base on Protected Areas (WDPA Consortium 2004). The WDPA is incomplete, but is the best globally comprehensive data available on protected areas. Wright et al. (in review) used Geographic Information Software to superimpose the global distribution of 14 biomes (Olson et al. 2001) onto the boundaries of every reserve included in the WDPA. Table 3 includes all Southeast Asian reserves whose boundaries are defined in the WDPA and that include tropical or subtropical coniferous, dry broadleaf or moist broadleaf forest biomes. Myanmar has another 31 reserves whose boundaries are not yet included in the WDPA. Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam are among the top ten tropical countries for numbers of forest reserves, and Indonesia and Thailand are among the top ten for the area of forest protected. Although the WDPA is incomplete, these top rankings are unlikely to change. Cambodia, Indonesia, the Lao Peoples Democratic Republic, the Philippines and Thailand have all protected more than 10% of their potential, pre-agricultural forest area, and Viet Nam has protected more than 8% (Table 3). This represents a remarkable commitment to conservation. Prepare for Impact!Values and Livelihoods 97

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