Approximating Forest Resource Dynamics in Peninsular Malaysia Using Parametric and Nonparametric Models, and Its Implications for Establishing Forest Reference (Emission) Levels under REDD+ | Land Portal

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June 2018
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© 2018 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article.

Forest reference (emission) levels (FREL/FRLs) are baselines for REDD+, and 34 countries have submitted their FREL/FRLs to UNFCCC by January 2018. Most of them used simple historical average without considering the stages of forest transition. This research suggested that the period of calculating FREL/FRLs of simple historical average should be properly chosen if these countries are occupying multiple stages or sub-stages of forest transition. Moreover, as a case study, this research applied both parametric and nonparametric models to approximate forest area dynamics with regard to per capita GDP in Peninsular Malaysia from 1971 to 2016. This research found that, in the case of Peninsular Malaysia, among the parametric models, the biexponential model outperformed the other growth models, while two of the nonparametric models i.e. Friedman local averaging and Nadaraya–Watson kernel smoothing models are the best among all the models on the basis of their RSS, RMSE, and MAE indices. Based on the results of our leave-last-five-out CV, however, the research found that the biexponential and Nadaraya–Watson kernel smoothing models performed best, although the performance of the other two nonparametric models remains unknown. Nonparametric model results indicated that Peninsular Malaysia experienced four sub-stages since 1971 and each sub-stage had different linear trends, yet it still did not reach the turning point of forest transition. This research also found that a linear projection using historical deforestation data when the per capita GDP level reached US$8000 was appropriate for setting FREL/FRLs.

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Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Michinaka, Tetsuya


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