Assessing impacts on ecosystem services under various plausible oil palm expansion scenarios in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia

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Key messages

  • The land-use change caused by oil palm expansion results in adverse impacts on ecosystem functions and services provided by natural forests.
  • This study assesses the impacts of oil palm expansion on key ecosystem services and analyzes the trade-offs among ecosystem services under four plausible future land-use scenarios in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia: business as usual, moratorium, zero gross deforestation and sustainable intensification.
  • A trade-off between carbon benefit and habitat quality was observed in the area with low carbon stock. Providing some habitat quality in areas of oil palm expansion enhanced the carbon benefit.
  • A synergy between carbon sequestration and water yield was evident due to oil palm expansion on Dry Rice Land with Mixed Scrub under the zero gross deforestation scenario.
  • Among the four plausible LULC scenarios, zero gross deforestation is the most desirable option for the study area in Central Kalimantan.
  • A successful implementation of zero gross deforestation requires a review of the forest moratorium to encompass all forest types, a clear land-use policy strategy and a detailed land-use plan involving all jurisdictions and engagement of stakeholders.
  • Sustainable intensification is the second-best land use and land cover option for oil palm expansion with an assumed average yield enhancement to 5 tCPO ha-1 yr-1. However, enhancing yield in smallholder farms by 78% is highly challenging. It may be achievable by providing appropriate and adequate technical and management supports to smallholder farms and by ensuring off-take markets for oil palm produced by smallholders.


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