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Promoting landscape heterogeneity to improve the biodiversity benefits of certified palm oil production: evidence from Peninsular Malaysia


Azhar, B and Saadun, N and Puan, CL and Kamarudin, N and Aziz, N and Nurhidayu, S and Fischer, J, Promoting landscape heterogeneity to improve the biodiversity benefits of certified palm oil production: evidence from Peninsular Malaysia, Global Ecology and Conservation, 3 pp. 553-561. ISSN 2351-9894 (2015) [Refereed Article]


Copyright Statement

Copyright 2015 The Authors Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.gecco.2015.02.009


The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) is responsible for the certification of palm oil producers that comply with sustainability standards. However, it is not known whether RSPO-certified plantations are effective in maintaining biodiversity. Focusing on Peninsular Malaysia, we show that both RSPO-certified plantations and uncertified large-scale plantations are characterized by very low levels of landscape heterogeneity. By contrast, heterogeneity measures were many times higher in palm oil producing smallholdings, despite their lack of RSPO certification. The low heterogeneity of large-scale oil palm plantations, including those certified by the RSPO, is likely to severely limit their value for biodiversity conservation. Uncertified smallholdings, in contrast, are much more heterogeneous and therefore hold substantially greater promise for the integration of palm oil production and biodiversity conservation than large-scale plantations. With oil palm agriculture further expanding, certification schemes should mandate producers to improve biodiversity conservation through landscape management that promotes greater landscape heterogeneity.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:biodiversity, landscape heterogeneity, oil palm, plantations, RSPO, smallholdings
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental Science and Management
Research Field:Environmental Impact Assessment
Objective Division:Environment
Objective Group:Ecosystem Assessment and Management
Objective Field:Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Environments
UTAS Author:Aziz, N (Mr Mohamed Bin Abdul Aziz)
ID Code:105590
Year Published:2015
Web of Science® Times Cited:35
Deposited By:Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture
Deposited On:2016-01-08
Last Modified:2016-09-07
Downloads:112 View Download Statistics

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