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Tree cover change has been very rapid in Sumatra in the past two decades, with some evidence that land without tree cover is transiting into plantations (oil palm, monoculture rubber, fastwood plantations for the pulp and paper industry); rubber agroforest are declining, no logging has been sustainable and fully protected forest is scarce. The patterns of change suggest that the main drivers are an interplay between large scale concessions, migrant labour and local intensification of tree crop systems, with local food production a fraction of consumption. The coastal peatlands have been transformed later than the lowland peneplain, and have become hot spots of carbon emissions as well as conflict. The tree cover change has impacted on biodiversity, carbon stocks and water quality, with a growing interest in restoring ecosystem service issues.