Deakin University
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Better land-use allocation outperforms land sparing and land sharing approaches to conservation in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia

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journal contribution
posted on 2015-06-01, 00:00 authored by E A Law, E Meijaard, Brett BryanBrett Bryan, T Mallawaarachchi, L P Koh, K A Wilson
Land sparing and land sharing are contrasting strategies often aimed at improving both agricultural production and biodiversity conservation in multifunctional landscapes. These strategies are embodied in land management policies at local to international scales, commonly in conjunction with other land-use policies. Evaluation of these strategies at a landscape scale, for multiple ecosystem service benefits, and multiple elements of biodiversity has not previously been attempted. We simulated the effects of applying land sharing and land sparing strategies to the agricultural zones designated by four future land-use scenarios (reflecting both current land-use and prospective land-use plans) in the Ex-Mega Rice Project region of Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. We assessed impacts of each strategy on biodiversity, agricultural production, and other ecosystem service benefits at a landscape scale. We examined whether it was possible to achieve predetermined targets that reflect the aspirations and entitlements of diverse stakeholder groups. We found that the prospective land-use plans for the region would deliver considerably more benefit than the current land-use allocations, and while not all targets can be achieved, additional progress could be made with reasonable and realistic levels of land sharing or sparing. We found that species and forest types sensitive to agricultural disturbance could benefit most if land in agricultural zones was spared and prioritised for conservation. Conversely, land sharing strategies favoured the more widespread and common species, particularly if the area of wildlife-friendly agriculture is increased. However, the effectiveness of agricultural-focused land management strategies is inherently limited by the extent of agricultural zones. While agricultural land sparing and sharing strategies can deliver some gains in target achievement for multiple ecosystem services, we find that they have a limited effect over the benefits achieved by implementing better land-use allocation from the outset.



Biological conservation




276 - 286




Amsterdam, The Netherlands





Publication classification

C Journal article; C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2015, The Authors