Factors Contributing to Forest Degradation in the Mountainous Tropical Forest: A Case Study of the Mutis-Timau Forest Complex, Indonesia.

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    • Abstract:
      The Mutis-Timau Forest Complex, one of the remaining mountainous tropical forest areas in Timor Island, eastern Indonesia, has been exposed to significant deforestation and forest degradation. Numerous studies have highlighted the factors affecting deforestation. However, information about the factors influencing forest degradation at the local scope is still limited. To address this gap, we analyzed the factors contributing to forest degradation during the 1999–2017 period in the Mutis-Timau Forest Complex using a spatial statistical approach. We developed logistic regression using the forest degradation data obtained from forest canopy density time series maps as dependent variables and the spatial representation of the factors contributing to forest degradation, namely distance to the settlement, distance to the road, distance to agriculture, distance to the river, distance to the savanna, distance to the forest edge, slope, elevation, population density, and forest management unit, as independent variables. Our finding showed the increase in distance to the forest edge and elevation would decrease the likelihood of forest degradation, whereas the probability of forest degradation increases in forest located far from the river and the settlement. Such findings are important for the forest authority in prioritizing actions for combating forest degradation and designing appropriate forest-related policies and supporting data for reducing carbon emissions from forest degradation implementation or other incentive schemes in reducing forest degradation. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
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