Analysis of the effects of land use change on protected areas in the Philippines

P.H. Verburg, K.P. Overmars, M.G.A. Huigen, W.T. de Groot, A. Veldkamp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

105 Citations (Scopus)


Deforestation and forest degradation are the most important land use change processes in the Philippines. These processes are an important threat to the highly rated biodiversity of the country. Only a small fraction of the natural forest that once covered the country remains. In spite of different policies that aim to reduce logging recent commercial deforestation, illegal logging and agricultural expansion pose an important threat to the remaining forest areas. In this paper we discuss the role of (land use) modeling approaches for assessing the threats and trade-offs of protecting the designated nature areas. At the national level different scenarios of land use change and implementation of the protected area policy are evaluated and discussed based on a spatially explicit land use allocation model. For one of the main national parks, the Northern Sierra Madre Nature Park, a detailed analysis is presented based on in-depth knowledge of the region. The two modeling approaches discussed in this paper aim at different scales and provide complementary types of information to support the planning and management of nature conservation strategies. The combination of land use change analysis at different scales respects the hierarchical organization of the land use system and addresses different levels of protected area management. The results indicate that land use change models are useful tools to inform protected area management as long as the selection of the model approach is based on the research and policy questions at the appropriate scale.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-173
JournalApplied Geography
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • cover change
  • use models
  • conservation priorities
  • tropical deforestation
  • biodiversity hotspots
  • temporal complexity
  • western honduras
  • forest fringe
  • use dynamics
  • use patterns

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