Global oil palm suitability assessment

Pirker, J. & Mosnier, A. (2015). Global oil palm suitability assessment. IIASA Interim Report. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: IR-15-006

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The palm oil boom of recent years has brought about both positive - economic development - and negative impacts - deforestation, habitat losses and increased GHG emissions - in the main producer countries in South-East Asia. As global demand for palm oil is still increasing, governments of developing and emerging countries increasingly promote oil palm cultivation as a major contributor to economic development, but there are concerns about the potential negative impacts of oil palm expansion on the natural environment in these countries.

Against this backdrop, we present a global oil palm suitability map on the spatial resolution of 0.5 arc minutes (approximately 1 km) in order to i) help land use planning for production and conservation in tropical and sub-tropical areas, and ii) provide insights about the sustainability of further oil palm production expansion in the future iii) help identify potential trade-offs between further oil palm plantation expansion, forest conservation, and use planning at the regional level.

By combining climate, soil and topography data, we find that global suitable areas are concentrated in nine tropical countries, with Brazil harboring the largest tracts of suitable land, followed by the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Indonesia. We conclude that this map will most useful to achieve the goals stated above when combined with a number of socio-economic factors that also drive of oil palm expansion dynamics.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Interim Report)
Research Programs: Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 08:54
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:25

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