2019-4-24

The future of Southeast Asia’s forests

Ronald C. Estoque, Makoto Ooba, Valerio Avitabile, Yasuaki Hijioka, Rajarshi DasGupta, Takuya Togawa & Yuji Murayama

Information of Paper

The future of Southeast Asia’s forests

Author:Ronald C. Estoque, Makoto Ooba, Valerio Avitabile, Yasuaki Hijioka, Rajarshi DasGupta, Takuya Togawa and Yuji Murayama
Year:2019
Journal:Nature Communications, 10, 1829

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Abstract

While Southeast Asia’s forests play important roles in biodiversity conservation and global carbon (C) balance, the region is also a deforestation hotspot. Here, we consider the five shared socioeconomic pathways (SSPs) to portray a range of plausible futures for the region’s forests, employing a state-of-the-art land change modelling procedure and remotely sensed data. We find that by 2050 under the worst-case scenario, SSP 3 (regional rivalry/a rocky road), the region’s forests would shrink by 5.2 million ha. The region’s aboveground forest carbon stock (AFCS) would decrease by 790 Tg C, 21% of which would be due to old-growth forest loss. Conversely, under the best-case scenario, SSP 1 (sustainability/taking the green road), the region is projected to gain 19.6 million ha of forests and 1651 Tg C of AFCS. The choice of the pathway is thus critical for the future of the region’s forests and their ecosystem functions and services.

Figure1. Maps showing the spatially allocated projected forest cover changes in Southeast Asia under the five shared socioeconomic pathways (SSPs) (2015–2050)
Fig 1. Maps showing the spatially allocated projected forest cover changes in Southeast Asia under the five shared socioeconomic pathways (SSPs) (2015–2050). The four insets show the spatially allocated projected forest cover changes in some parts of Laos and Vietnam (inset 1), Cambodia (inset 2), Malaysia (inset 3) and Indonesia (inset 4)

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