Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
Research Report

Reducing forest emissions in Southeast Asia: A review of drivers of land-use change and how payments for environmental services (PES) schemes can affect them

Sheila Wertz-Kanounnikoff
Metta Kongphan-Apirak
Copyright Date: Nov. 1, 2008
Pages: 24
  • Cite this Item

Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 6-6)

    Each year during the 1990s, tropical deforestation and forest degradation released 2.2 (+/-0.6) billion tons of carbon into the atmosphere, of which about 49.5 per cent came from tropical Asia (Houghton 2003). The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO, (2005) reports a total of 43.6 million hectares deforested in the main forest countries of Southeast Asia between 1990 and 2005, corresponding to a release of about 3.45 million tons of carbon (Table 1). Emissions can double during El Niño periods, when severe drought affects large areas of Southeast Asian forests and augments burning of forests and tropical peatlands (Page...

  2. (pp. 7-9)

    Basically, deforestation occurs because non-forest uses are more profitable than forest uses. Agricultural expansion and logging – especially illegal logging – are among the key drivers of deforestation in Southeast Asia, while public policies, international market demand, and governance weaknesses are reported as important underlying causes of deforestation (see Table 2).

    Oil palm cultivation is one of the main drivers of large-scale agricultural expansion and deforestation in Southeast Asia. Other cash crops such as rubber, sugarcane and coffee also contribute to forest loss in the region, but to a far lesser extent. Most of this cash crop production is driven...

  3. (pp. 10-15)

    Payments for environmental services (PES) are still nascent in Southeast Asia, but the interest in PES is growing rapidly. The region counts fewer and less advanced PES schemes than Latin America, and these are located mainly in Indonesia and the Philippines (Huang et al. 2008). Most of these schemes are still in the process of being implemented, which makes an assessment of their effectiveness difficult. In addition, most correspond more to ‘PES-like’ schemes, where not all criteria of ‘real PES’ schemes – as defined by Wunder (2005) – are implemented.¹ Still, four schemes in Southeast Asia were selected for an...

  4. (pp. 16-17)

    Southeast Asia witnesses high rates of deforestation and forest degradation. Large-scale deforestation for agriculture (notably oil palm) is driven by international market demand. Small-scale deforestation is partly driven by: market opportunities for typical smallholder crops like rubber; land races to gain or secure property rights; and – in marginalised, remote areas of the countries – also by poverty and population growth. Forest degradation is primarily a consequence of logging activities – especially illegal logging – driven by high international demand for timber. Logging activities are concentrated in Papua New Guinea, but also occur in Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar and Cambodia.