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Replanting unproductive palm oil with smallholder plantations can help achieve Sustainable Development Goals in Sumatra, Indonesia

Fosch, Ariadna, Ferraz de Arruda, Guilherme, Aleta, Alberto, Descals, Adrià, Gaveau, David, Morgans, Courtney L., Santika, Truly, Struebig, Matthew J., Meijaard, Erik, Moreno, Yamir and others. (2023) Replanting unproductive palm oil with smallholder plantations can help achieve Sustainable Development Goals in Sumatra, Indonesia. Communications Earth & Environment, 4 (1). Article Number 378. ISSN 2662-4435. (doi:10.1038/s43247-023-01037-4) (KAR id:103302)

Abstract

Oil palm (Elaeis guinensis) is a controversial crop. To assess its sustainability, we analysed the contribution of different types of plantations (smallholder, industrial and unproductive) towards meeting six Sustainable Development Goals. Using spatial econometric methods and data from 25,067 villages in Sumatra, Indonesia, we revealed that unproductive plantations are associated with more cases of malnutrition, worsened school access, more air pollution and increased criminality. We also proposed a strategy for sustainable palm oil expansion based on replanting unproductive plantations with either industrial or smallholder palm oil. Smallholder replanting was beneficial for five Goals (Zero poverty, Good health, Quality Education, Environmental preservation and Crime reduction), while the same intervention only improved two Goals in the industrial case (Zero poverty and Quality Education). Our appraisal is relevant to policymakers aiming towards the 2030 Agenda, organisations planning oil palm expansion, and retailers or consumers concerned about the sustainability of oil consumption.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1038/s43247-023-01037-4
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > DICE (Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology)
SWORD Depositor: JISC Publications Router
Depositing User: JISC Publications Router
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2023 13:17 UTC
Last Modified: 10 Jan 2024 10:20 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/103302 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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