Oil palm and deforestation in Papua New Guinea

Nelson, Paul N., Gabriel, Jennifer, Filer, Colin, Banabas, Murom, Sayer, Jeffrey A., Curry, George N., Koczberski, Gina, and Venter, Oscar (2014) Oil palm and deforestation in Papua New Guinea. Conservation Letters, 7 (3). pp. 188-195.

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View at Publisher Website: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/conl.12058
 
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Abstract

An unprecedented increase in oil palm developments may be underway in Papua New Guinea (PNG) through controversial 'Special Agricultural and Business Leases' (SABLs) covering over two million ha. Oil palm development can create societal benefits, but doubt has been raised about whether the SABL developers intend establishing plantations. Here we examine the development objectives of these proposals through an assessment of their land suitability, developer experience and capacity, and socio-legal constraints. Our review reveals 36 oil palm proposals with plantings planned for 948,000 ha, a seven-fold increase over the existing planted area in PNG. Based on our criteria, however, we estimate that only five plantations covering 181,700 ha might eventuate within the foreseeable future. We conclude that most of the developers are clearing forest with no intention of cultivating oil palm, and that a large-scale land grab is therefore occurring in PNG under the guise of oil palm development.

Item ID: 28476
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1755-263X
Keywords: forest clearing, logging, oil palm, palm oil, Papua New Guinea, rural development, Special Agricultural and Business Lease
Funders: Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)
Date Deposited: 04 Sep 2013 04:51
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050209 Natural Resource Management @ 40%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1604 Human Geography > 160403 Social and Cultural Geography @ 30%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1699 Other Studies in Human Society > 169905 Studies of Pacific Peoples Societies @ 30%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9609 Land and Water Management > 960906 Forest and Woodlands Land Management @ 40%
82 PLANT PRODUCTION AND PLANT PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8203 Industrial Crops > 820399 Industrial Crops not elsewhere classified @ 40%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society @ 20%
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