Research & Analysis

SEKALA undertakes considerable research and analysis on critical natural resource issues such as illegal logging, bioenergy, agriculture, oil palm expansion and forest conversion.

Illegal logging, forest law enforcement & governance

Illegal logging threatens Indonesia’s forests because it results in deforestation, forest degradation, lost government revenue and social conflict. SEKALA analyzes illegal logging in Indonesia and works with stakeholders to develop realistic measures that can be implemented to curb illegal logging. It also provides advice on forest governance and forest sector transparency.

Oil palm expansion and forest conversion

Since 1990, oil palm has been one of the fastest growing sectors of the Indonesian economy. This prolific growth has conferred important economic benefits, but it has also become a source of concern because much of Indonesia's oil palm expansion has occurred at the expense of tropical forest cover.

SEKALA analyzes oil palm expansion and its impact on forest conversion in Indonesia. It also supports informed spatial planning processes which seek to identify suitable areas for oil palm plantations and conserve high conservation value forests.


Indonesia’s total primary energy consumption grew by around 43 percent between 2000 and 2011. To meet its energy needs, and off-set its dependence on fossil fuels, the Indonesian government began to promote the use of biofuels in 2006 to reduce dependency on fossil fuels by 10% for 2010 and 25% by 2025.

Indonesia has so far only been able to successfully develop biodiesel from palm oil since the government initiated investment in biofuels in 2006. Indonesia’s CPO based biodiesel industry is beginning to take off and it could experience rapid growth over the next decade. Concerns have been raised about the impact of this growth on forests and food crops. SEKALA has developed expertise on biofuel developments in Indonesia and analyses relevant spatial and statistical data to better understand this issue.