NERC Wallacea programme integration funds

  Deforestation and forest degradation are causing widespread loss of tropical biodiversity, profoundly impacting ecosystem functioning as well as stocks of natural resources and ecosystem assets (natural capital). The greatest reductions in diversity are experienced as forests are converted to permanent agriculture, a process that disrupts the delivery of important ecosystem services such as pollination and pest control. In contrast, the impacts from well-managed smallholder agriculture are less extreme, as the associated land parcels are typically embedded within landscape mosaics comprising fallows and forest remnants.
Wallacea is currently emerging as a new developmental frontier in Indonesia and a target for agribusiness and extractive industries. A particularly understudied part of the Asian tropics, it has an exceptionally distinctive vertebrate diversity which forms the second highest level of endemism in the world, making the region a global priority for both conservation and ecosystem service provision. In addition, land-use history and current trajectories remain poorly understood, with the region notably omitted from recent deforestation baselines for this very reason. In fact, the diverse history of the Wallacea archipelago is acknowledged as a major source of uncertainty when applying land-use change models developed from elsewhere in Southeast Asia, as well as predicting the impacts of future environmental change. Given that further forest degradation and agricultural conversion are expected in Wallacea, the future prospects for natural capital in the region depend to a large extent on how we manage human-modified landscapes.
The main project is led by University of Kent, and are collaborating with the Project Partners to provide additional expertise in Wallacea,

  • Start Date:

    15 November 2018

  • End Date:

    14 November 2021

  • Activity Type:

    Externally Funded Research

  • Funder:

    Natural Environment Research Council

  • Value:

    £4201

Project Team