Integrating Remotely Sensed and Terristrial Data
for Environmental Conservation Management in Tasek Bera, Pahang, Malaysia
Project Aims and Objectives
The Tasek Bera Project Team set up by the Wetlands International Asia-Pacific, and liaising closely with relevant district and Pahang State government agencies, has described the overall development goal of the project as to protect and enhance the the biodiversity of the Tasek Bera Ramsar Site and its catchment through a series of specific objectives. These objectives include:
To establish the legal, administrative and institutional basis, and trained staff resources for the Tasek Bera Ramsar site;
- To establish a sound scientific basis for sustainable management of the Tasek Bera Site;
- To demarcate and formalize the boundaries of the Tasek Bera Ramsar site, and the protection of the catchment area;
- to ensure the full and formalized integration of the Semelai community into the management.
- To raise awareness of the values and uses of Tasek Bera and wetlands in general; and
- to support the implementation of all obligations under the Ramsar convention in Malaysia.
The principal activities which are being undertaken in order to accomplish the above objectives, including the following:
- To establish a sound institutional framework for the management of the site;
- To develop a management plan for the site and its buffer zone;
- To develop a site monitoring programme;
- To develop a database to support management activities;
- To demarcate reserve boundaries to ensure their legal incorporation;
- To ensure the full and formalized integration of the Semelai Orang Asli communities in the management of the site through a community development programme;
- To develop a tourism master plan to guide future development in the area in line with the reserve management objectives, and to maximize local benefits from tourism;
- To establish a research center and applied research programme in support of site management and wider wetland management issues;
- To design and implement an environmental awareness programme for local communities and relevant government agencies; and finally,
- To produce education materials for schools, and information materials for use.
The strategy proposed is to provide an integrated basis for the management of all aspects of Tasek Bera, its physical characteristics and processes, local fauna and flora, indigenous communities, as well as external visitors, with the purpose of developing a demonstration model of wetlands conservation management not just for local (Malaysian) application, but also internationally.
Wetlands are very complex structures, “. each wetland is specific in terms of management potential and it is impossible to draw up a detailed management plans which can be applied to all wetlands” (Roggeri 1995), and, therefore, broad regional and national level wetland management plans are of little practical value on the ground that specific stands of forest and their related exosystems have unique characteristics. Wetland management for sustainable development is in practice, therefore, an exercise in site-specific area management which take into account unique combinations of human, animal, vegetation, water and socio-economic processes which interact to shape particular wetland forest areas.
The senior author has shown in an earlier paper that:
“Only a modem geographical information system (GIS), with its ability to standardize multiple layers of map information, both human and physical, in both the vector and raster formats, import and geo- reference imagery (satellite, aerial photographs, etc.), link geographical objects and locations to relational database which can organize and store practically unlimited number of objects and site characteristics in the from of numerical data, text, photogreaphs, hyperlinks, sound and animation which are today the standard technologies of multimedia information system, meets the needs of modem management system, and offer to are management techniques of analysis, of visualization , and of presentation, which
no other management system can presently offer. Such a GIS litraally provides a virtual environmental for area management which is second only actually going to the site itself’
The Tasek Bera Integrated Managements Project on which the two authors are currently working seeks to develop a GIS-based Area management Plan for the Ramsar site which incorporate map, terrestrial and remotely sensed data, past, present as well as data collected in “real-time” to facilitate area monitoring, into a geo-referenced multimedia information management system which will canble the Tasek Bera area managers to base their decisions on virtual geographical environmental models which are a quantum leap forwards from the paper-based maps currently used by Malaysian environmental managers. The principal activities (b),(c), and (e) above will be met by the proposed GIS-based area management plan for tesek Bera which will from the basis of achieving the major project objectives of the delineation of the project area (2), and scientific area management (1).
Enriching the Geographical Data Sets:
The geographical data sets for the Tesek Bera Area Management are multi-parameter. The discussion below focuses on low the spatial data are being enriched by digital- based field mapping as well as data from remote sensing, both aerial and satellite imagery.
Topographical Data: Contour lines of 20 meter interval derived from the peninsular Malaysia’s most recently published topographical map series L8028 (Edition 1-PPNM), map scale 1:25,000. are being used to develop the basic elevation database. These data have a major shortcoming. Contour line elevations in the project area range from 40 meter to 120 meters, but many of the peaks of the low, rounded forested hill tops in the area are not marked by spot heights or trigonometrical stations. Processing such map derived contour line data in a digital terrain model without hill-top elevation points esults in plateau zones emering on many hill top where in the real world slopes exit. Likewise, the water-level of Tasek Bera as depicted on the topographical map is somewhere below the 40 meter contour line, and above the 20 meters line. For accurate digital terrain modeling, therefore, the heights of hill-tops in the area, as well as the water-level of the lake had to be measured in the field. Adventures from the Raiegh International who used Tasek Bera as a base for their exploration activities in June- August and October- November 1997 undertook field altimetry measurements of hil tops as wellas lake’s water level using differentially corrected digital altimeters and global positioning system (GIS) devices to achive elevations of within 2-3 meter when compared to the few map bench mark and spot heights in the area.
Lake Morphometric Data: Measuring the morphometry of the land’s surface benesth the lake’s water-surface in essential if modeling water-level rise and fall, as well as calculating water volumes etc. in the course oh hydrological modeling of the Tasek Bera catchment area is to the undertaken with relative accuracy. Since there are no sub-surface data available, the same Raleigh International explorers were used to measure water depths along cross-sections of the Tasek Bera lake. The location of each site was measured using GPS. Depths were converted into meter above sea level elevations, and entered as point data into the GIS topographical database where they were processed together with map contour line data as well a map field-measure spot height data into digital terrain models.