Based on the current land-use policy, spatial planning and maps of oil palm expansion in Indonesia, this study identified three plausible future scenarios; namely business as usual, conservation and sustainable intensification for future development of oil palm plantations in the study area.
This study concludes that ecosystem services are negatively impacted in the business-as-usual scenario due to expansions of oil palm plantations on old-growth forest and regrowth forest. Assuming the lowest intensity of oil palm expansion, the conservation scenario enhances carbon stock and maintains a stable habitat quality relative to the current land use. The sustainable intensification scenario with oil palm expansions only on suitable areas and enhancement of yield generates a positive impact on carbon stock and water yield, whereas habitat quality slightly deteriorates in the study areas. A detailed study at a local level (household or village) that evaluates the economic value of crucial ecosystem services and their trade-offs or synergies is recommended for accurate evaluation to better understand the impacts of oil palm expansion on the local community and the environment.