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Measuring and Monitoring Biodiversity in the Oil Palm Landscape

With oil palm plantations now covering over 21 million ha of plantations across the tropics (FAOSTAT, 2016), there is an urgent need to look at the sustainability of the industry, to reduce the environmental impact of plantation practices, to maintain and improved high yields and ultimately prevent further loss of tropical forest. There are a number of areas where the group are active in this area, however current research centres on the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Function in Tropical Agriculture (BEFTA) programme in Sumatra, Indonesia.

The Biodiversity and Ecosystem Function in Tropical Agriculture (BEFTA) programme (www.oilpalmbiodiversity.com) aims to quantify the effect of habitat complexity within oil palm plantations on biodiversity and experimentally testing the role plantation biodiversity has in ecosystem functioning and ecosystem services. The project is run in collaboration with University of Cambridge and industry partners, Sinar Mas Agro Resources and Technology Corporation Research Institute (SMARTRI).