Alternative futures for Borneo show the value of integrating economic and conservation targets across borders

Rebecca K. Runting*, Erik Meijaard, Nicola K. Abram, Jessie A. Wells, David L.A. Gaveau, Marc Ancrenaz, Hugh P. Posssingham, Serge A. Wich, Fitrian Ardiansyah, Melvin T. Gumal, Laurentius N. Ambu, Kerrie A. Wilson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Balancing economic development with international commitments to protect biodiversity is a global challenge. Achieving this balance requires an understanding of the possible consequences of alternative future scenarios for a range of stakeholders. We employ an integrated economic and environmental planning approach to evaluate four alternative futures for the mega-diverse island of Borneo. We show what could be achieved if the three national jurisdictions of Borneo coordinate efforts to achieve their public policy targets and allow a partial reallocation of planned land uses. We reveal the potential for Borneo to simultaneously retain ~50% of its land as forests, protect adequate habitat for the Bornean orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) and Bornean elephant (Elephas maximus borneensis), and achieve an opportunity cost saving of over US$43 billion. Such coordination would depend on enhanced information sharing and reforms to land-use planning, which could be supported by the increasingly international nature of economies and conservation efforts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6819
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 14 Apr 2015
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Alternative futures for Borneo show the value of integrating economic and conservation targets across borders'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this