Reducing green house gas emissions from oil palm in Indonesia: Lessons from East Kalimantan

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Key Messages

  • National and provincial emissions reduction goals and efforts to slow deforestation may come into conflict with provincial and district level economic ambitions based on agricultural development.
  • Around half of existing oil palm concessions in East Kalimantan are on forested and peatland areas. If developed, these plantations will release ~206 MtCO2e into the atmosphere.
  • The expansion of oil palm plantations on currently allocated concessions will lead to the conversion of forested lands and swamp areas, including peatland, and represents a critical source of carbon emissions.
  • To ensure the sustainability of plantation expansion the government needs to undertake a review of all existing plantation permits to ensure that they align with existing sustainability criteria.
  • Green Growth does not present a win-win strategy and therefore requires strong political commitment, and awareness of social and environmental tradeoffs.


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