Secondary forest loss in Singapore has recently emerged as a contentious issue that tests the relationships between state, public and civil society, but debates on this issue have occurred without the benefit of supporting information on the spatial extent, and understanding of multiple socio-ecological impacts arising from their gradual disappearance. The purpose of this paper is to fill these knowledge gaps to contribute to development of approaches to manage land developments on secondary forests.
This study evaluated the past and potential future losses of spontaneous re-growth forest through spatial analyses of vegetation cover maps combined with national land use plans using remote sensing and GIS. The socio-ecological impacts of such losses were interpreted from published writings, which comprise scientific publications and public opinion in news media.
Secondary forest losses accounted for more than half of total vegetation cover reduction between 2007 and 2012, and future potential losses amount to about 4,700 ha of land if these are fully developed over the next 10-15 years. The socio-ecological consequences of such losses are identified. Strong public opinion are reflected in the large number of news article on the topic over the last four years, pointing to the emergence of a contentious issue that requires careful management.
This paper conducted the first assessment of the spatial extent of secondary forests losses, and an extensive review of public opinion of the matter, and the results validated the significance of this topic.
Tan, P.Y., Feng, Y. and Hwang, Y.H. (2016), "Deforestation in a tropical compact city part a: understanding its socio-ecological impacts", Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, Vol. 5 No. 1. https://doi.org/10.1108/SASBE-08-2015-0022Download as .RIS
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