Continuation of research and new directions in Phase 3

The overall goal of EFForTS is to contribute to a profound understanding of the drivers and impacts of land-use changes in lowland rainforest areas and the complex ecological and socioeconomic synergies and trade-offs involved. This understanding can help to design policies and landscapes towards more sustainable development. The research is carried out in Jambi Province, Sumatra, one of the hotspots of Indonesia’s recent oil palm boom that has experienced massive land-use changes during the last 30 years. We expect that the knowledge generated will also be useful for other tropical lowland regions, where conversion of rainforests into agricultural land use occurs.

Phase 1 of EFForTS focused on Differences in ecological and socioeconomic functions of land-use changes due to rainforest transformation into rubber and oil palm plantations in Indonesia.

In Phase 2, we focused on Heterogeneity as a new umbrella theme.

Phase 3 extends the investigation of heterogeneity in space and time by focusing on the theme From heterogeneity towards sustainable landscapes. We will assess

  1. the heterogeneity at the landscape level (Landscape Assessment) with the establishment of 100 new plots distributed widely in space,
  2. the heterogeneity due to enrichment planting in oil palm plantations (EFForTS-BEE)
  3. the heterogeneity in management of oil palm plantations (EFForTS-OPMX).

Phase 3 will greatly benefit from the establishment of these experiments in Phases 1 and 2 because we can now investigate ecological and socioeconomic trade-offs in well established experimental settings. The focus of Phase 3 From heterogeneity towards sustainable land-scapes builds on these ecological and socioeconomic assessments integrating Phases 1 and 2. Further, we aim at providing policies towards the development of more sustainable management of tropical lowland rainforest regions.

Further reading