PALM OIL NEWS
November 20, 2017
LiDAR analysis blunder viewable from trans-Kalimantan highway
JAKARTA (foresthints.news) - It shouldn’t be difficult, especially for the Indonesian Peat Restoration Agency (BRG), Norwegian embassy and World Resources Institute (WRI), to see how the detailed analysis based on LiDAR mapping conducted in the Kahayan hydrological landscape in Central Kalimantan’s Pulang Pisau regency is misleading.
In fact, the blunder made in classifying vegetation as a result of the LiDAR mapping, whose implementation was coordinated by the WRI, can be seen from the side of the trans-Kalimantan highway, which runs through this peat restoration priority regency.
The term misleading is used because a stretch of peatland with ground cover dominated by ferns and fern allies was classified as high-density secondary peat swamp forest in the detailed analysis based on the Norwegian-funded LiDAR mapping.
Evidence taken from a ground-based observation performed by foresthints.news (Nov 15-16) revealed this serious misclassification of land cover vegetation in the detailed analysis derived from the WRI-coordinated LiDAR mapping.
It is very clear in the three photographs below (Nov 16) that the land cover vegetation, predominantly composed of ferns and fern allies, does not constitute high-density secondary peat swamp forest - a misleading representation plainly visible from the side of the trans-Kalimantan highway.
This finding adds to the list of evidence confirming the misleading nature of the Norwegian-funded LiDAR mapping, while reinforcing that the Norwegian embassy’s claim - that the LiDAR mapping produced detailed peat maps - is both technically and legally baseless.
This evidence also underscores that the WRI-coordinated LiDAR mapping did not involve a ground check, leading to land cover made up of high-density ferns and fern allies being called high-density secondary peat swamp forest.
Peat agency’s responsibility
Given that the detailed analysis based on the LiDAR mapping was submitted in person by Peat Agency Chief Nazir Foead, most notably to relevant ministries, the peat agency clearly has to take responsibility for this misleading analysis.
It seems obvious that the peat agency failed to perform a spatially-based ground check with regard to the detailed analysis of the LiDAR mapping.
The following additional photographs highlight the grave error made in the Norwegian-funded LiDAR mapping, which saw the fern and fern ally-dominated ground cover misclassified as high-density secondary peat swamp forest.
Not only should the peat agency be held responsible for the misleading detailed analysis of the WRI-coordinated LiDAR mapping, but it should also feel very embarrassed about the whole mishandled situation, especially considering that the mistakes made are viewable to the naked eye from the side of the trans-Kalimantan highway.
The LiDAR mapping should ideally provide accurate high resolution maps, thereby producing a spatially-detailed analysis whose accuracy is proven on the ground level, unlike that submitted by the peat agency to relevant government institutions for peat restoration purposes.
As previously reported by foresthints.news (Nov 13 and Nov 17), the detailed analysis of the WRI-coordinated LiDAR mapping was proven to have omitted evidence of 2015’s burned peat forests in the Kahayan peat hydrological landscape.
The omission of evidence of 2015’s burned peat forests in the detailed analysis of the Norwegian-funded LiDAR mapping, including this land cover misclassification, makes the LiDAR-based analysis legally and technically unacceptable.