Multitemporal ScanSAR Acquisition of Sebangau National Park near Palangkaraya, Kalimantan (Indonesia) recorded on February 14th, June 14th and June 25th, 2008.
The light green areas in the top left half of the image mark tropical peat-swamp forest of the Sebangau Ecosystem in Central Kalimantan, which is renowned for its high conservation importance and natural resource functions. It has recently been designated as an Indonesian National Park, primarily to protect the largest extant world population of the endangered Bornean Orang Utan (Pongo pygmaeus).
The Sebangau is suffering from drainage caused by the construction of hundreds of canals by illegal loggers (many of these can also be distinguished in the image), who use them to float felled timber out of the forest. These canals are rapidly draining the peat of moisture, which threatens to cause peat and forest collapse and large-scale forest fires (various fire scars can be identified in the image). Additional pressure was put on the forests water balance by a large land conversion scheme (so called Mega Rice Project) starting in 1996. Within this project at least half a million hectares of primary peat swamp forest was removed and more than 4.600 kilometres of channels were excavated in order to restore Indonesia's rice self-sufficiency. The area of deforestation can be identified in darker green colour in the bottom right half of the image.
Later the project was abandoned and the present Indonesian government is in the process of rehabilitating the area, but major damage has already been done to the regional and global environment.
The white area in the top centre of the image marks the city of Palangkaraya.
As can be seen in this example, TerraSAR-X multitemporal acquisitions in ScanSAR Mode with a resolution between 16 and 20m provide a wealth of information for environmental monitoring and conservation in tropical areas.