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From its launch in 2006, the phased array L-band synthetic aperture radar (PALSAR) onboard the advanced land observing satellite (ALOS) has acquired many dual-polarized (FBD) images with a 70-km swath width, aiming to produce spatially consistent coverage over tropical rainforest. This paper investigates the relevancy of PALSAR orthorectified FBD product at 50-m resolution for regional land cover classification by the support vector machines (SVM). Our test site is the Riau province, Sumatra island, Indonesia, known to hold vast area of natural peatland forest with an extreme biodiversity threatened by industrial deforestation. Since it is demonstrated the radiometric information (HH and HV channels) cannot be solely used to achieve a good classification, the spatial information in these orthorectified data is investigated. A new tool using the recursive feature elimination SVM-based process and the textural Haralick's parameters is introduced. The real contribution of textures within the land cover classification can be understood. A small set of textural parameters is determined at local scale while being optimal for the land cover discrimination. The SVM-based classifier is carried out across the whole Riau province and its results are compared with a Landsat-based estimation. The agreement is over 70% with six classes and 86% for the natural forest map. These results are remarkable since only one PALSAR FBD product is used and this assessment is performed on more than 40 million pixels. The results confirm the high potential of the PALSAR sensor for forest monitoring at regional, if not global scale.