%0 Journal Article
	%A A. Sunkar and  Y. Santosa and  S. B. Rushayati
	%D 2015
	%J International Journal of Environmental and Ecological Engineering
	%B World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology
	%I Open Science Index 104, 2015
	%T An Initial Assessment of the Potential Contribution of ‘Community Empowerment’ to Mitigating the Drivers of Deforestation and Forest Degradation, in Giam Siak Kecil-Bukit Batu Biosphere Reserve
	%U https://publications.waset.org/pdf/10002219
	%V 104
	%X Indonesia has experienced annual forest fires that have
rapidly destroyed and degraded its forests. Fires in the peat swamp
forests of Riau Province, have set the stage for problems to worsen,
this being the ecosystem most prone to fires (which are also the most
difficult, to extinguish). Despite various efforts to curb deforestation,
and forest degradation processes, severe forest fires are still
occurring. To find an effective solution, the basic causes of the
problems must be identified. It is therefore critical to have an indepth
understanding of the underlying causal factors that have
contributed to deforestation and forest degradation as a whole, in
order to attain reductions in their rates. An assessment of the drivers of deforestation and forest
degradation was carried out, in order to design and implement
measures that could slow these destructive processes. Research was
conducted in Giam Siak Kecil–Bukit Batu Biosphere Reserve
(GSKBB BR), in the Riau Province of Sumatera, Indonesia. A
biosphere reserve was selected as the study site because such reserves
aim to reconcile conservation with sustainable development. A
biosphere reserve should promote a range of local human activities,
together with development values that are in line spatially and
economically with the area conservation values, through use of a
zoning system. Moreover, GSKBB BR is an area with vast peatlands,
and is experiencing forest fires annually. Various factors were
analysed to assess the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation
in GSKBB BR; data were collected from focus group discussions
with stakeholders, key informant interviews with key stakeholders,
field observation and a literature review. Landsat satellite imagery was used to map forest-cover changes
for various periods. Analysis of landsat images, taken during the
period 2010-2014, revealed that within the non-protected area of core
zone, there was a trend towards decreasing peat swamp forest areas,
increasing land clearance, and increasing areas of community oilpalm
and rubber plantations. Fire was used for land clearing and most
of the forest fires occurred in the most populous area (the transition
area). The study found a relationship between the deforested/
degraded areas, and certain distance variables, i.e. distance from
roads, villages and the borders between the core area and the buffer
zone. The further the distance from the core area of the reserve, the
higher was the degree of deforestation and forest degradation. Research findings suggested that agricultural expansion may be
the direct cause of deforestation and forest degradation in the reserve,
whereas socio-economic factors were the underlying driver of forest
cover changes; such factors consisting of a combination of sociocultural,
infrastructural, technological, institutional (policy and governance), demographic (population pressure) and economic
(market demand) considerations. These findings indicated that local
factors/problems were the critical causes of deforestation and
degradation in GSKBB BR. This research therefore concluded that
reductions in deforestation and forest degradation in GSKBB BR
could be achieved through ‘local actor’-tailored approaches such as
community empowerment.
	%P 978 - 985