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The underlying causes and impacts of fires in South-east Asia. Site 7. Tumbang Titi, West Kalimantan Province, Indonesia

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This report provides an analysis of causes and impacts of vegetation fires in the Tumbang Titi area Ketapang District West Kalimantan Pr ovince Indonesia. The Landstat TM and SAR Image level analysis indicated that natura l forest decreased from 473300 ha in 1989 to 127335 ha in 1996. Socio-economic research at the landscape level indicated that alang- alang ( Imperata cylindrica ) accounted for almost 22% of the land cover of the study area. In 1997 large-scale fires burned up 29 % of the land area of the site including Imperata grassland remaining forest and sma llholder and largescale plantations. Imperata grasslands were most affected by the 1997 fires. Socio-ec onomic research indicated that three main forces were responsible for land degrada tion from humid tropical rain forest to Imperata grassland: shifting cultivation commercial logging and illegal gold mining. Three phases of land use change were eviden t on this study site. First the widespread development of Imperata grasslands as the final stage of land degradation following the intensive exploitation and conversion of humid tropical rain forest. Second the expansion of smallholder large scale commercial and local government interest in using the Imperata grasslands. And third local community shift to more profitable land use activities such as gold mining in the wake of the economic crisis

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