Horton Plains, Sri Lanka. Montane forest and eucalyptus
Pinus Carribea, Bandarawela, Sri Lanka
SPOT 3 Deforestation for oil palm. Rantau Pandan, Indonesia


Bukit Barasan NP, Lampung, Indonesia
Ladang burning, Jambi
Symphalangus syndactylus

3d view of forest
forest Lampung vrml view

Tropical Forest Conservation

Christopher has applied remote sensing and GIS to two major tropical forest conservation projects, and to a system-dynamics modelling experiment.

In Sri Lanka, from 1991 to 1995, a new map of all natural forest and tree plantations was prepared using Landsat TM and IndoSat imagery, and a GIS incorporating topographic and administrative information prepared as a basis for planning and management. (for a paper on this project, download here)This is actively updated and maintained by the Sri Lanka Forest Department, whose staff were trained during the DFID project.

In Indonesia, the Indonesia Forest Resources Information System (IFRIS) was prepared as part of the EU-funded Forest Inventory and Mapping Programme (FIMP). This GIS included remote-sensing derived forest maps, as well as detailed information on topography, soils, tree species, fauna and human activities for the four provinces of Southern Sumatera. IFRIS had an intuitive internet-like interface, and incorporated 3D views and virtual reality models, as well as interactive socio-economic data. IFRIS was intended to be a conservation planning tool for the Ministry of Forestry, and was to be expanded to cover all of Indonesia, but was not ultimately adopted by the Ministry, where political and financial considerations outweighed concern for conservation. For a description of IFRIS, see this Powerpoint presentation.

For a study of deforestation in Southern Sumatera, click here for the presentation, for a study of tree species distribution in Sumateran forest plots read this presentation, and for methods used to visualise trees in three dimensions in IFRISclick for the presentation

Tropical forest conservation was an important component of the CAMFLORES modelling experiment, attempting to model interactions between forest farmers and their environment, and funded by the EU through the IITA in Cameroon as part of the Alternatives to Slash and Burn programme. Remote sensing and GIS were used to define forest layers in the village models developed during CAMFLORES, and extensive use was made of new high-resolution IKONOS imagery.To read a presentation on the "Alternatives to Slash and Burn" modelling project in Cameroon, click here, while for more details of the model download this presentation. A paper on the model can be downloaded here.