Borneo study explores links between farm expansion and deforestation
A nearly two-decade study of land-cover change in Borneo has identified a positive correlation between the loss of forests and the expansion of plantations, primarily for oil palms.
The findings undermine the long-held position of industry and government representatives that plantation expansion doesn’t contribute to deforestation and that it makes use of already cleared land.
The study also highlighted a slowdown in rates of both deforestation and plantation expansion, which the researchers attributed to declining process of crude palm oil, more stringent regulations on forest clearing, and wetter weather in 2017.
While the expansion of plantations hit a new low in 2017, activists say the possible illegal clearing of peat forests continues unabated in Indonesian Borneo, despite repeated calls to the government for action.