Borneo

Introduction

Image courtesy of Hayden (Oil Palm Concession) via Wikimedia commons

Image courtesy of Hayden (Oil Palm Concession) via Wikimedia commons

Borneo is an interesting case study for those interested in rainforests and peat swamps, agriculture, carbon accounting, and biofuels. The case study is located on the coastal border between Central and South Kalimantan, fewer than 100 km from the South Kalimantan capital of Banjarmasin. The area is the site of historical and ongoing deforestation. In the 90s, ambitious agricultural plans coupled with widescale deforestation resulted in tremendous ecological and environmental consequences.

The international attention paid to Borneo has resulted in a plethora of publications on the Mega Rice project, illegal logging, and regional palm oil industries, meaning data availability is unlikely to restrict potential research questions. While the scope of issues offered by Borneo may be narrower than in other case studies, they may be pursued to a greater depth. Furthermore,  the extreme examples of environmental engineering profered by Borneo make for fascinating study.

Background

Energy/Resources:    Rimba Raya project    Gold Mining    Biofuel Producers    Biofuel or Food

Agriculture:    Palm Oil production in Malaysia and Indonesia    The Mega Rice Project

Conservation/Ecology:    Peat Swamp Forest    Biodiversity conservation in Borneo    GreenPeace Report    Palm Oil Politics

Society/Urban:

Basic Geodata

Land cover data (compatible with ArcGIS) will be provided to you in class, covering three past time periods since the 1980s. The links below will show you the approximate boundaries (as seen in Google Earth with recent years), as well as the basic changes in land cover.

view in Google Earth

view Simple Land Cover Maps

Remember, in addition to Landsat-derived land cover, there are several more auxiliary geodata sets that have already been collected for you and will be provided in lab. These data include: terrain/elevation, nightlights which represent population, floristic zones, etc. and are available at all study locations. These datasets are introduced and explained further under Additional Data Sources. In addition to these ready-to-go, prepared auxiliary datasets, this page also provides ideas for additional datasets you might find on your own.