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Library Land suitability for oil palm in Kalimantan, Indonesia

Land suitability for oil palm in Kalimantan, Indonesia

Land suitability for oil palm in Kalimantan, Indonesia

Resource information

Date of publication
December 2006
Resource Language
ISBN / Resource ID

There is an increasing global demand for oil palm, but its production provokes societal debate on the environmental and social aspects that surround it, particularly in southeast Asia. This study, at the request of request of the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV), ISRIC-World Soil Information, Alterra and Plant Research International, assessed the biophysical land suitability for the production of oil palm in Kalimantan, Indonesia.
The scientists conclude that about half of Kalimantan may be biophysically suitable for oil palm cultivation. Moderately well drained soils on a not too steep land cover about half of Kalimantan. These soils are acid and infertile, and therefore unsuitable for most food crops, but they are suitable for oil palm. From the viewpoint of physical suitability and ecological sustainability, a potential increase of production of oil palm should be realized through intensification of the present oil palm estates and expansion on already degraded areas, rather than clearing natural forest. This is especially relevant for (virgin) peat areas of where the development is unsustainable because of ecological disturbance of the peat ecosystem and associated losses of greenhouse gasses and peat fires. In the investigation, information on land suitability was combined with additional information such as present land use and land cover, land status in spatial planning. The report concludes that a significant part of the biophysically suitable area has restrictions for these additional criteria. The applied model for decision-support takes account of sustainability, present land use and vegetation, and land status and can be used for decision-making at the local level.

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Authors and Publishers

Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s)

S. Mantel
H. Wösten
J. Verhagen

Data Provider
Geographical focus