In 2004, Navjot Sodhi and colleagues warned that logging and agricultural conversion of Southeast Asia's forests were leading to a biodiversity disaster. We evaluate this prediction against subsequent research and conclude that most of the fauna of the region can persist in logged forests. Conversely, conversion of primary or logged forests to plantation crops, such as oil palm, causes tremendous biodiversity loss. This loss is exacerbated by increased fire frequency. Therefore, we conclude that preventing agricultural conversion of logged forests is essential to conserving the biodiversity of this region. Our analysis also suggests that, because Southeast Asian forests are tightly tied to global commodity markets, conservation payments commensurate with combined returns from logging and subsequent agricultural production may be required to secure long-term forest protection.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Forest degradation
- Oil palm
- Southeast Asia