Balancing palm oil and rubber production with food production and forest maintenance in East Kalimantan, Indonesia

View from the plane of East Kalimantan. Clear pockets of land show deforestation. © WWF / Simon Rawles

In this research project, we aim to analyse the relationship between agricultural developments and forest cover, carbon stocks, biodiversity and rice production in East Kalimantan between 1990 and 2010. The large-scale development of agriculture can have negative impacts on forests, biodiversity and local food production, particularly in tropical forest landscapes like East Kalimantan. This province is located in the Indonesian part of Borneo and is covered with pristine forests and a matrix of agricultural activities. Meanwhile, oil palm, timber and rubber plantations are being developed on a large scale and are replacing forests and small-scale rice fields.  Based on these historical developments and spatial and statistical data, we estimate future agricultural developments so as to support local land use planning with regards to forest maintenance and local food production. This research project is conducted as part of the Greasy lands project, under the umbrella of the Agriculture Beyond Food program.               

The project is carried out by Carina van der Laan MSc. in collaboration with Dr. Pita Verweij, Dr. Stefan Dekker, Prof. dr. André Faaij, Dr. Paul Burgers, Dr. Birka Wicke, Judith Verstegen MSc., Arif Budiman MSc., Wiwin Effendy MSc. and Arif Data Kusuma; and is funded by NWO Agriculture Beyond Food program and KNAW.