Understanding the Driving Forces and Actors of Land Change Due to Forestry and Agricultural Practices in Sumatra and Kalimantan: A Systematic Review

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Indonesia has experienced one of the world’s greatest dynamic land changes due to forestry and agricultural practices. Understanding the drivers behind these land changes remains challenging, partly because landscape research is spread across many domains and disciplines. We provide a systematic review of 91 studies that identify the causes and land change actors across Sumatra and Kalimantan. Our review shows that oil palm expansion is the most prominent (65 studies) among multiple direct causes of land change. We determined that property rights are the most prominent issue (31 studies) among the multiple underlying causes of land change. Distinct combinations of mainly economic, institutional, political, and social underlying drivers determine land change, rather than single key drivers. Our review also shows that central and district governments as decision-making actors are prominent (69 studies) among multiple land change actors. Our systematic review indicates knowledge gaps that can be filled by clarifying the identification and role of actors in land change.

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