High-risk infrastructure projects pose imminent threats to forests in Indonesian Borneo

Alamgir, Mohammed, Campbell, Mason J., Sloan, Sean, Suhardiman, Ali, Supriatna, Jatna, and Laurance, William F. (2019) High-risk infrastructure projects pose imminent threats to forests in Indonesian Borneo. Scientific Reports, 9. 140. pp. 1-10.

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Abstract

Indonesian Borneo (Kalimantan) sustains ~37 million hectares of native tropical forest. Numerous large-scale infrastructure projects aimed at promoting land-development activities are planned or ongoing in the region. However, little is known of the potential impacts of this new infrastructure on Bornean forests or biodiversity. We found that planned and ongoing road and rail-line developments will have many detrimental ecological impacts, including fragmenting large expanses of intact forest. Assuming conservatively that new road and rail projects will influence only a 1 km buffer on either side, landscape connectivity across the region will decline sharply (from 89% to 55%) if all imminently planned projects proceed. This will have particularly large impacts on wide-ranging, rare species such as rhinoceros, orangutans, and elephants. Planned developments will impact 42 protected areas, undermining Indonesian efforts to achieve key targets under the Convention on Biological Diversity. New infrastructure will accelerate expansion in intact or frontier regions of legal and illegal logging and land colonization as well as illicit mining and wildlife poaching. The net environmental, social, financial, and economic risks of several imminent projects—such as parallel border roads in West, East, and North Kalimantan, new Trans-Kalimantan road developments in Central Kalimantan and North Kalimantan, and freeways and rail lines in East Kalimantan—could markedly outstrip their overall benefits. Such projects should be reconsidered in light of rigorous cost-benefit frameworks.

Item ID: 56984
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2045-2322
Copyright Information: © The Author(s) 2019. Open Access. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.
Funders: Anonymous philanthropic organization
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2019 01:30
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050202 Conservation and Biodiversity @ 60%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050204 Environmental Impact Assessment @ 10%
12 BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN > 1205 Urban and Regional Planning > 120504 Land Use and Environmental Planning @ 30%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9606 Environmental and Natural Resource Evaluation > 960609 Sustainability Indicators @ 20%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960501 Ecosystem Assessment and Management at Regional or Larger Scales @ 60%
88 TRANSPORT > 8801 Ground Transport > 880106 Road Infrastructure and Networks @ 20%
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