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The key to putting the right commodities in the right place could be unlocked as a result of a ground-breaking climate change mapping project using an innovative siting tool, largely from the back of a motorbike. The project, part of the Conservation InternationalFoundation’s (CI) Sustainable Landscapes Partnerships program, is being supported by SNV in Sumatra and could be applied throughout Indonesia.

The practical and innovative approach of a team on motorbikes with GIS devices has enabled access to remote locations and mapping of existing plantations and areas of High Conservation values.

SNV has been able to assist CI identifying areas most suited for sustainable development of commodity crops as well as areas that should be regarded as ‘off limits’ for expansion due to their environmental values.

CI’s Sustainable Landscapes Partnerships Chief-of-Party, Simon Badcock, said the mapping project will focus on four major agricultural commodities; coffee, cocoa, palm oil and rubber.

“These four have been chosen as a priority because they all have the growth potential and existing land use practices capable of negatively impacting the environment at the same time being vulnerable to the effects of climate change,” Mr Badcock said.

The climate change modelling and data will be used to inform farmers, industry and government about future site and crop suitability, and to develop long term planning for the districts, including mitigation strategies such as planting coffee crops under shade trees, rather than clearing them from the land.

In recognition of common goals and a similar approach between Conservation International and SNV, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed on Friday 25 April between Conservation International Country Director, Ketut Sarjana Putra and SNV Indonesia Country Director, Phil Harman.

Phil Harman explained the two organisations shared a vision to support local development of sustainable landscapes by reducing emissions from deforestation, peat soils, and production.

“By collaborating on the Partnership program we will promote sustainable development and improve local livelihoods. In the future CI and SNV hope to work closely together to develop strategies for sustainable sourcing of commodities and land use planning,” Mr Harman said.

The Sustainable Landscapes Partnership (SLP) is a five-year partnership program with USAID and the Walton Family Foundation, in North Sumatra Province, Indonesia. The goal of the program is to address global climate change and contribute to Indonesia’s economic growth, while protecting its critically threatened habitats through public and private philanthropic funding into an innovative facility (SLP).