The future of Southeast Asia’s forests

In Nature Communications
Volume (Issue): (2019)10
Peer-reviewed Article

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 senseddata. Wefind that by 2050 under the worst-case scenario, SSP 3 (regional rivalry/a rockyNroad), the region’s forests would shrink by 5.2 million ha. The region’s above ground 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

Author:
Ronald C
Estoque
Makoto
Ooba
Valerio
Avitabile
Yasuaki
Hijioka
Takuya
Togawa
Yuji
Murayama
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