Land Use Changes and GHG Emissions from Tropical Forest Conversion by Oil Palm Plantations in Riau Province, Indonesia

Fatwa Ramdani, Masateru Hino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Increasing prices and demand for biofuel and cooking oil from importer countries have caused a remarkable expansion of oil palm plantations in Indonesia. In this paper, we attempt to monitor the expansion of oil palm plantations on peat land and in tropical forests. We measure the GHG emissions from the land conversion activities at provincial scale. Using Landsat images from three different periods (1990s, 2000s and 2012), we classified LULC of the Riau Province, which is the largest oil palm producing region in Indonesia. A hybrid method of integration, generated by combining automatic processing and manual analysis, yields the best results. We found that the tropical rainforest cover decreased from ∼63% in the 1990s to ∼37% in the 2000s. By 2012, the remaining tropical rainforest cover was only ∼22%. From the 1990s to the 2000s, conversion of forests and peat lands was the primary source of emissions, total CO2 emitted to the atmosphere was estimated at ∼26.6 million tCO2.y-1, with 40.62% and 59.38% of the emissions from conversion of peat lands and forests, respectively. Between 2000 and 2012, the total CO2 emitted to the atmosphere was estimated at ∼5.2 million tCO2. y-1, with 69.94% and 27.62% of the emissions from converted peat lands and converted forests, respectively. The results show that in the Riau Province, the oil palm industry boomed in the period from 1990 to 2000, with transformation of tropical forest and peat land as the primary source of emissions. The decrease of CO2 emissions in the period from 2000 to 2012 is possibly due to the enforcement of a moratorium on deforestation.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere70323
JournalPloS one
Volume8
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jul 30

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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