Palm oil and likely futures: Assessing the potential impacts of zero deforestation commitments and a moratorium on large-scale oil palm plantations in Indonesia

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Key messagesThis brief examines two contrasting policy options: the implementation of zero deforestation commitments by the private sector and a complete moratorium on the expansion of large-scale oil palm plantations, and compares them to a situation without policy action. The zero deforestation commitments and the moratorium on large-scale oil palm plantations expansion could reduce cumulative deforestation by 25% and 28%, respectively, compared to a situation without policy action. They could also cut greenhouse gas emissions from land use and land-use change by 13% and 16%, respectively, over the period 2010-2030. Even under the zero-deforestation and moratorium scenarios, Indonesia is projected to increase palm oil production between 124%-97% over 2010-2030, which is partly due to higher production originating from smallholders. Both measures – the zero deforestation commitments and a moratorium of future large-scale oil palm plantations expansion – would be especially beneficial to limit future deforestation in Indonesia in a context in which global demand for palm oil is expected to keep increasing. Foresight tools can equip stakeholders and policy makers with data and information to allow for evidence-based policy making. This will permit planning for reducing deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions, and finding options acceptable to all stakeholders involved.

Key messages

  • This brief examines two contrasting policy options: the implementation of zero deforestation commitments by the private sector and a complete moratorium on the expansion of large-scale oil palm plantations, and compares them to a situation without policy action.
  • The zero deforestation commitments and the moratorium on large-scale oil palm plantations expansion could reduce cumulative deforestation by 25% and 28%, respectively, compared to a situation without policy action. They could also cut greenhouse gas emissions from land use and land-use change by 13% and 16%, respectively, over the period 2010-2030.
  • Even under the zero-deforestation and moratorium scenarios, Indonesia is projected to increase palm oil production between 124%-97% over 2010-2030, which is partly due to higher production originating from smallholders.
  • Both measures - the zero deforestation commitments and a moratorium of future large-scale oil palm plantations expansion - would be especially beneficial to limit future deforestation in Indonesia in a context in which global demand for palm oil is expected to keep increasing.
  • Foresight tools can equip stakeholders and policy makers with data and information to allow for evidence-based policy making. This will permit planning for reducing deforestation and greenhouse gas emissions, and finding options acceptable to all stakeholders involved.

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DOI:
https://doi.org/10.17528/cifor/006468
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