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Research Report

Large-scale plantations, bioenergy developments and land use change in Indonesia

Anne Casson
Yohanes I Ketut Deddy Muliastra
Krystof Obidzinski
Copyright Date: Jan. 1, 2014
Pages: 135
OPEN ACCESS
https://www.jstor.org/stable/resrep02370
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 1-3)

    Indonesia’s forests are among the most biologically diverse ecosystems on earth. With 15 natural forest types, Indonesia provides habitat for 17% of the world’s bird species, 16% of reptiles and amphibians, 12% of mammals and 10% of flowering plants (MacKinnon et al. 1996). The natural forests of Kalimantan and Papua are rich in biodiversity, each containing over 900 plant species (MacKinnon et al. 1996; Marshall and Beehler 2007). Natural forest types with high biological diversity include coastal mangrove forests, lowland peat swamp and dipterocarp forests, and montane forests (MacKinnon et al. 1996). The forests have long been valued not just...

  2. (pp. 4-22)

    Four main feedstocks have been targeted for biofuel development in Indonesia — cassava (mostly in Java), jatropha (mostly in eastern Indonesia), oil palm (in Sumatra, Kalimantan and Papua) and sugarcane (in Sumatra and Sulawesi). This section examines the expansion rates of these crops and their contribution to Indonesia’s emerging biofuel sector. The development of industrial timber plantations is also examined, as these plantations are beginning to produce a new form of biomass — wood pellets.

    The oil palm tree (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) is native to West Africa, where it was traditionally used to make food, medicine, textiles and wine. It...

  3. (pp. 23-33)

    Despite the recent global recession, Indonesia has experienced relatively strong economic performance, with an average GDP growth rate of just below 7% per year over the past 10 years (MEMR 2012). Population has increased by about 1.5% per year, from 205,843,000 to 241,134,000 between 2000 and 2011. Today, Indonesia is the fourth most populous country in the world (behind China, India and the US) and the most populous country in Southeast Asia (PRB 2012). Strong economic growth and expanding population mean there is increasing demand for energy and a need to secure long-term energy supplies.

    Indonesia’s total primary energy consumption...

  4. (pp. 34-38)

    Government policy has primarily focused on encouraging the development of oil palm and other agricultural crops for food and oil production and has relied heavily on fossil fuels for energy. Since 2006 a number of policies have been established to stimulate investment in and development of bioenergy and its feedstocks. Most of these policies have already been noted in comprehensive policy studies on bioenergy undertaken by Caroko et al. (2011) and Dermawan et al. (2012). This section draws upon these studies to identify key policies that have encouraged investment in bioenergy feedstocks and production.

    In 2006, the Indonesian government kick-started...

  5. (pp. 39-46)

    Despite policies encouraging investment in bioenergy crops, limited growth is occurring in the sector and Indonesia has failed to meet its targets. This can be attributed to a number of factors including price fluctuations and competition with fossil fuels; competition with food crops; negative press coverage and resulting foreign policy restrictions; complicated land and permit application processes; land tenure issues and a lack of clarity over land ownership; poor infrastructure; limited access to technology and capital; and weak law enforcement.

    In Indonesia, there is a strong belief that the biofuel sector, which depends primarily on palm oil, has been hindered...

  6. (pp. 47-59)

    Indonesia has had one of the highest rates of deforestation in the world for the past 30 years (Hansen et al. 2008, 2009). Deforestation and land use change became a concern in the early 1970s, when large-scale commercial logging concessions were established for the first time. Although logging concessions were intended to establish a system of long-term timber production, they often led to serious forest degradation followed by clearance and conversion to other forms of land use.

    Estimates of deforestation vary as analysis has been carried out in different ways, over different time periods and with different sensors. A mapping...

  7. (pp. 60-69)

    This section provides more detailed information and analysis on the impact of oil palm, industrial timber, and other plantations being promoted to develop bioenergy, on land use change over the past decade. It also reviews the impact of land use change on aboveground and below-ground GHG emissions.

    The relationship between oil palm area expansion and land use change is complex, although it is generally thought that oil palm expansion has been a key driver of deforestation over the past 20 years. Data are varied and difficult to access; however, the Ministry of Forestry has estimated that close to 70% of...

  8. (pp. 70-85)

    Several measures are being undertaken to ensure that large-scale bioenergy plantations do not cause further unnecessary deforestation or other adverse impacts in Indonesia. Some of these measures are being taken internally, while others are being implemented by consuming countries or by organizations that promote sustainable bioenergy production. These measures include:

    a comprehensive review of land use permits issued in forest-rich provinces

    initiatives seeking to utilize degraded land;

    a moratorium on clearing of forests and peatlands with high biomass value

    promotion of projects seeking to reduce emissions from deforestation and land degradation

    national and regional mitigation action plans for reducing GHG...

  9. (pp. 86-88)

    Despite the recent global recession, Indonesia has experienced relatively strong economic performance, with an average GDP growth rate of just below 7% per year over the past 10 years. Population has increased by about 1.5% per year, from 205,843,000 to 241,134,000 between 2000 and 2011. Today, Indonesia is the fourth most populous country in the world (behind China, India and the US) and the most populous country in Southeast Asia. Strong economic growth and an expanding population have created increasing pressure on Indonesia’s forests and increasing demand for energy.

    Indonesia’s forests are rich and biodiverse and provide a range of...