The declining amount of forest land cover is considered a factor in causing environmental damage. On the other hand, the development of agricultural and plantation land is very necessary in order to meet the food and economic needs of the community. 

Therefore, accurate and up-to-date data and information on the dynamics of land cover change are needed as the foundation for the government to establish various anticipatory and responsive policies, which are related to Indonesia's ongoing agenda of protecting and governing forest and land resources in a sustainable manner.

Through the support of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), IPB University's Faculty of Forestry and Environment (Fahutan), and National Institute of Aeronautics and Space (LAPAN), a GIS-based forest land cover change monitoring system and mobile application was developed.

The resulting product was the WebGIS EcoSystem, a monitoring platform that can also be accessed through the INA-Alert (Indonesia Alert System) mobile application. This development was supported by Esri Indonesia through the Esri Platform license grant program for education and research purposes at IPB University. 

WebGIS EcoSystem screengrab

IPB University Deputy Rector for Cooperation and Information Systems, Prof. Dr. Dodik Ridho Nurrochmat, said that this monitoring system was an initial effort by IPB University to make a substantive contribution to forestry, plantations, and other land-based sectors.

"This is very important because the data that can be provided through this land-use change tool reflects the real conditions in the field; hence the output is, of course, the accurate data," said Prof. Dodik at the launch of WebGIS EcoSystem and INA-Alert. 

Virtual launch of WebGIS EcoSystem and INA-Alert
Prof. Dodik (bottom row, first from the left) at the virtual launch of WebGIS EcoSystem and INA-Alert with other guests.

We can find land-use change data in real-time and the data that was used for land management planning can be more precise and accurate. Hopefully, the existence of this land-use change monitoring tool can achieve sustainable management of forest and plantation landscapes.

WebGIS EcoSystem has a spatial information display map and tabulation dashboard, and displays different types of spatial data related to land cover changes and commodities in certain periods for palm oil, rice, cocoa, coffee, and rubber. The results of early detection of land cover change can also be displayed with devegetation analysis via an early warning system. 

And through its support, INA-Alert can validate the land cover changes that are generated by the early warning system. Via the application, the public can ideally participate directly in the land monitoring system in Indonesia by providing accurate information from the field.

WebGIS EcoSystem screengrab

In addition, WebGIS EcoSystem also displays the national maps showing the distribution of palm oil, rice, cocoa, coffee, and rubber commodities at a certain period. It also provides services to users in order to run simple statistical calculations or analysis, either based on administrative boundaries (sub-districts, districts, and provinces), or other targeted land boundaries. 

Together, WebGIS EcoSystem and INA-Alert are expected to provide data and information that explains the dynamics of land cover change in Indonesia, particularly those which are caused by agricultural intensification, with an accuracy that can be scientifically justified for a shorter time span.

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