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19 July 2021 | dataset

Oil palm and deforestation

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.

Field Value
Publisher James Cook University
Modified 15 February 2022
Release Date 19 July 2021
Source URL[email protected]
Identifier 58c6ea5a-88c9-4b15-b3d9-cf378d64b6ff
Spatial / Geographical Coverage Location Papua New Guinea
Relevant Countries Papua New Guinea
Language English
License Public
[Open Data]
Author Biatus Bito
Contact Name Paul Nelson
Contact Email [email protected]