A new study published in Journal of Biogeography reports that the establishment of protected land on Sumatra may help reduce deforestation in adjacent unprotected areas. By examining nearly 100 Landsat images of Sumatra and Siberut over the decade spanning from 1990 to 2000, David Gaveau and his research team found that, contrary to common assumptions, deforestation rates in unprotected lands up to 10 km adjacent to designated protected areas went down, not up. They also found that designation of areas as “protected” did not completely halt logging.
Gaveau, D.L.A, J. Epting, O. Lyne, M. Linkie, I. Kumara, M. Kanninen, N. Leader-Williams (2009). Evaluating whether protected areas reduce tropical deforestation in Sumatra. Journal of Biogeography; published online 29 Jun 2009.