Please enter verification code
Exploring Conservation Management in an Oil-palm Concession
International Journal of Natural Resource Ecology and Management
Volume 1, Issue 4, November 2016, Pages: 179-187
Received: Oct. 9, 2016; Accepted: Oct. 19, 2016; Published: Nov. 7, 2016
Views 6378      Downloads 310
Erik Meijaard, Borneo Futures, Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam; ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
Nardiyono, Austindo Nusantara Jaya Agri, Jakarta, Indonesia
Hendriyana Rahman, Austindo Nusantara Jaya Agri, Jakarta, Indonesia
Simon Husson, Borneo Nature Foundation, Palangka Raya, Indonesia
Karmele L. Sanchez, International Animal Rescue Indonesia, Ketapang, Indonesia
Gail Campbell-Smith, International Animal Rescue Indonesia, Ketapang, Indonesia
Article Tools
Follow on us
Tropical oil-palm plantations are considered a major threat to threatened wildlife, including the Critically Endangered Bornean Orangutan Pongo pygmaeus. We review the management intervention of one oil-palm company in Indonesian Borneo that developed a plantation in an area with a wild orangutan population. Through setting aside and effectively protecting natural forest areas, the company now protects a population of ca. 150 orangutans. Further and improved management is needed to increase the likelihood that this population can survive in the long term. This specifically requires retaining connectivity to other orangutan habitats around the plantation through landscape-level, multi-stakeholder planning and improved protection of remaining habitats. We conclude that through its oil-palm development the company has had a negative impact on the local orangutan population, although this needs to be weighed against the counterfactual of what would have happened to the forests had no oil-palm been developed. Lessons learned from this case study provide important insights into how orangutans and their habitats could be protected in the kind of multi-functional landscapes in which some 70% of all remaining orangutans occur.
Borneo, Conservation, Deforestation, Oil-palm, Orangutan
To cite this article
Erik Meijaard, Nardiyono, Hendriyana Rahman, Simon Husson, Karmele L. Sanchez, Gail Campbell-Smith, Exploring Conservation Management in an Oil-palm Concession, International Journal of Natural Resource Ecology and Management. Vol. 1, No. 4, 2016, pp. 179-187. doi: 10.11648/j.ijnrem.20160104.15
Copyright © 2016 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
E. B. Fitzherbert et al., How will oil palm expansion affect biodiversity? Trends in Ecology & Evolution 23, 538 (Oct, 2008).
L. P. Koh, D. S. Wilcove, Is oil palm agriculture really destroying tropical biodiversity? Conservation Letters 1, 60 (March 2008, 2008).
E. Meijaard, D. Sheil, Oil palm and biodiversity. Encyclopedia of Biodiversity 5, 600 (2013).
D. L. A. Gaveau et al., Rapid conversions and avoided deforestation: examining four decades of industrial plantation expansion in Borneo. Scientific Reports 6, 32017 (2016).
J. Miettinen, C. Shi, S. C. Liew, Deforestation rates in insular Southeast Asia between 2000 and 2010. Global Change Biology 17, 2261 (2011).
Greenpeace International, “Palm oil’s new frontier. How industrial expansion threatens Africa’s rainforests” (Greenpeace International, 2012).
Serge A. Wich et al., Will Oil Palm’s Homecoming Spell Doom for Africa’s Great Apes? Current Biology 24, 1659 (2014).
M. Ancrenaz, E. Meijaard, S. A. Wich, “Oil palm expansion and great ape conservation: risks and opportunities” (UNEP/GRASP, Nairobi, Kenya, in press).
D. Sheil et al., The impacts and opportunities of oil palm in Southeast Asia. What do we know and what do we need to know? CIFOR Occasional Paper no. 51 (2009).
L. R. Carrasco, C. Larrosa, E. J. Milner-Gulland, D. P. Edwards, A double-edged sword for tropical forests. Science 346, 38 (October 3, 2014, 2014).
R. H. V. Corley, How much palm oil do we need? Environmental Science & Policy 12, 134 (Apr, 2009).
L. Feintrenie, W. K. Chong, P. Levang, Why do Farmers Prefer Oil Palm? Lessons Learnt from Bungo District, Indonesia. Small Scale Forestry 9, 379 (Sep, 2010).
J. McCarthy, Z. Zen, Regulating the oil palm boom: Assessing the effectiveness of environmental governance approaches to agro-industrial pollution in Indonesia. Law & Policy 32, 153 (Jan, 2010).
Friends of the Earth, “Malaysian palm oil - green gold or green wash? a commentary on the sustainability claims of malaysia’s palm oil lobby, with a special focus on the state of sarawak” (2008).
Greenpeace, “Certifying Destruction. Why consumer companies need to go beyond the RSPO to stop forest destruction” (Greenpeace International, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 2013).
E. Meijaard, D. Sheil, A modest proposal for wealthy countries to reforest their land for the common good. Biotropica 43, 544 (2011).
H. S. Nantha, C. Tisdell, The orangutan-oil palm conflict: economic constraints and opportunities for conservation. Biodiversity & Conservation 18, 487 (Feb, 2009).
H. Smit, E. Meijaard, S. Mantel, C. van der Laan, P. Verweij, Breaking the link between environmental degradation and oil palm expansion. PLoS ONE 8, e68610 (2013).
F. A. Edwards, D. P. Edwards, S. Sloan, K. C. Hamer, Sustainable Management in Crop Monocultures: The Impact of Retaining Forest on Oil Palm Yield. PLoS ONE 9, e91695 (2014).
A. Najera, J. A. Simonetti, Can oil palm plantations become bird friendly? Agroforestry Systems 80, 203 (Oct, 2010).
B. Yaap, M. J. Struebig, G. Paoli, L. P. Koh, Mitigating the biodiversity impacts of oil palm development. CAB Reviews 5, 1 (2009).
L. P. Koh, Birds defend oil palms from herbivorous insects. Ecological Applications 18, 821 (Jun, 2008).
G. D. Paoli, B. Yaap, P. L. Wells, A. Sileuw, CSR, oil palm and the RSPO: Translating boardroom philosophy into conservation action on the ground. Tropical Conservation Science 34, 438 (2010).
C. Traeholt, C. Schriver, RSPO P &C - The challenges of making the principles and criteria operational. Oil Palm Industry Economic Journal 11, 1 (2011).
L. P. Koh, P. Levang, J. Ghazoul, Designer landscapes for sustainable biofuels. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 24, 431 (Aug, 2009).
E. A. Law et al., Better land-use allocation outperforms land sparing and land sharing approaches to conservation in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Biological Conservation 186, 276 (2015).
D. P. Edwards, B. Fisher, D. S. Wilcove, High Conservation Value or high confusion value? Sustainable agriculture and biodiversity conservation in the tropics. Conservation Letters 5, 20 (2012).
C. L. Gray, O. T. Lewis, A. Y. C. Chung, T. M. Fayle, Riparian reserves within oil palm plantations conserve logged forest leaf litter ant communities and maintain associated scavenging rates. Journal of Applied Ecology 52, 31 (2015).
M. Ancrenaz et al., Pongo pygmaeus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T17975A17966347. Downloaded on 18 August 2016. (2016).
T. Santika, M. Ancrenaz, S. Spehar, K. A. Wilson, E. Meijaard, Integrating multiple survey data to assess species abundance dynamics: the case of the Bornean orangutan in Sabah. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, series B, (in review).
A. J. Marshall et al., in Orangutans: geographic variation in behavioral ecology and conservation, S. Wich, S. U. Atmoko, T. Mitra Setia, C. P. van Schaik, Eds. (Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, 2009), pp. 311-326.
M. Ancrenaz et al., Of pongo, palms, and perceptions – A multidisciplinary assessment of orangutans in an oil palm context. Oryx 49, 465 (2015).
S. A. Wich et al., Understanding the Impacts of Land-Use Policies on a Threatened Species: Is There a Future for the Bornean Orang-utan? PLoS ONE 7, e49142 (2012).
D. L. A. Gaveau et al., The future of forests and orangutans (Pongo abelii) in Sumatra: predicting impacts of oil palm plantations, road construction, and mechanisms for reducing carbon emissions from deforestation. Environmental Research Letters 4, 34013 (Jul-Sep, 2009).
Daemeter Consulting, “Full Report. High Conservation Value Assessment for PT Kayung Agro Lestari Kabupaten Ketapang, West Kalimantan, Indonesia” (Daemeter Consulting and FFI Indonesia program, Bogor, Indonesia, 2011).
E. Meijaard, S. Wich, M. Ancrenaz, A. J. Marshall, Not by science alone: Why orangutan conservationists must think outside the box. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1249, 29 (2012).
S. J. Husson et al., in Orangutans: geographic variation in behavioral ecology and conservation, S. A. Wich, S. U. Atmoko, T. M. Setia, C. P. van Schaik, Eds. (Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK., 2009), pp. 77-96.
C. P. van Schaik, Azwar, D. Priatna, in The neglected ape, R. D. Nadler, B. F. M. Galdikas, L. K. Sheeran, N. Rosen, Eds. (Plenum Press, New York, 1995), pp. 109-116.
RSPO, “RSPO. Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. Principles and Criteria for the Production of Sustainable Palm Oil.” (2013).
E. Meijaard, “Notes about site visit to PT. KAL, 26-29 October 2013, and conservation recommendations. Unpublished report to PT KAL” (Jakarta, Indonesia, 2013).
G. Campbell-Smith, R. Sembiring, M. Linkie, Evaluating the effectiveness of human-orangutan conflict mitigation strategies in Sumatra. Journal of Applied Ecology 49, 367 (2012).
R. D. Field et al., Indonesian fire activity and smoke pollution in 2015 show persistent nonlinear sensitivity to El Niño-induced drought. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 113, 9204 (August 16, 2016, 2016).
L. Tacconi, Preventing fires and haze in Southeast Asia. Nature Clim. Change 6, 640 (2016).
P. D. Mathewson et al., Evaluating orangutan census techniques using nest decay rates: Implications for population estimates. Ecological Applications 18, 208 (Jan, 2008).
A. J. Marshall, E. Meijaard, Orangutan nest surveys: the devil is in the details. Oryx 43, 416 (2009).
A. E. Johnson, C. D. Knott, B. Pamungkas, M. Pasaribu, A. J. Marshall, A survey of the orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus wurmbii) population in and around Gunung Palung National Park, West Kalimantan, Indonesia based on nest counts. Biological Conservation 121, 495 (2005).
Environment Department–PT Kayung Agro Lestari. (Ketapang, Indonesia, 2012).
H. D. Rijksen, E. Meijaard, Our vanishing relative. The status of wild orang-utans at the close of the twentieth century. (Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, 1999), pp. 480.
M. W. Lyon, Mammals collected in western Borneo by Dr. W.L. Abbott. Proceedings of the United States National Museum 33, 549 (1908).
S. Spehar et al., Orangutans venture out of the rainforest and into the Anthropocene. Science Advances, (in review).
J. T. Davis et al., It’s not just conflict that motivates killing of orangutans. PLoS ONE 8, e75373 (2013).
S. J. Husson et al., in State of the Apes: Industrial Agriculture and Ape Conservation, H. Rainer, A. White, A. Lanjouw, Eds. (Arcus Foundation, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 2015).
E. Meijaard, An update on the Orangutan Conservation Services Program. Forest Science News 4, 3 (2008).
Science Publishing Group
1 Rockefeller Plaza,
10th and 11th Floors,
New York, NY 10020
Tel: (001)347-983-5186