Deforestation boosts tropical floods

Deforestation has increased the occurrence of flooding in Indonesian Borneo over the past 30 years, according to researchers in Australia and Indonesia.

Based on interviews with local villagers and articles from local media sources, the study shows that, in just three years, upwards of 750,000 people from hundreds of settlements were displaced by flooding. Those affected are more likely to have come from regions deforested for mining and oil-palm plantations, the researchers say.

“The relationship between land cover and flooding occurrence in the tropics remains unclear, primarily because the data to study these relationships are difficult to obtain for large geographic scales,” said Erik Meijaard of the University of Queensland. “Our study shows that deforestation does increase the frequency of flood events – and this is important in broader sustainable development planning, where often the benefits of deforestation are quite well known but not the costs.” […]

The rest of this article is available here.