The SuLu Project

Decisions about land use have profound implications for climate change, biodiversity and poverty. Global land use change from agricultural and urban expansion is transforming ecosystems from Indonesian rainforest to Colombian tropical grasslands.  Decisions about resource consumption on one part of the globe can have profound impacts on the environment in another part of the globe. Agricultural systems should help mitigate the impacts of climate change, not increase them. Conservation of ecosystems that provide ecosystem services and sustains irreplaceable biodiversity should be protected.

If adequately planned and implemented agricultural systems can provide incomes and contribute to development and poverty reduction. However, done badly they can result in massive greenhouse gas emissions, loss of biodiversity and social inequity.

SuLu pilot regions

What is SuLu?

SuLu stands for Sustainable land Use. The official and full name of the project is “Balancing land use management, sustainable biomass production and conservation, climate change and conservation". The SuLu project is financially supported by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) within it´s International Climate Initiative.

The project will lend practical support to the EU Renewable Energy Directive (EU RED) by supporting the development of spatial planning concepts for the Llanos grasslands in Colombia and the eco-regions of Kalimantan and Sumatra in Indonesia in partnership with local stakeholders, like governments, communities and conservation groups to avoid greenhouse gas emissions and minimize pressure on land with high biodiversity caused by biomass production.

The main challenge will be to achieve a sustainable biomass production.

palm oil plantation in Bornoe

Acting through the sustainability criteria of the European Union Renewable Energy Directive (EU RED), SuLu is identifying the most important areas for the conservation of biodiversity and lands with high carbon stock value.  Sulu is working with stakeholders on the development of methods to identify no go, high and low risk areas for sustainable biomass production.

The project uses geographic technologies to define and communicate EU RED requirements and to integrate advanced landscape analysis into spatial planning with local stakeholders. It will also try to develop a methodology - together with stakeholders - to define and identify highly biodiverse grassland.

The results will be communicated via a web platform with crowd-sourcing capabilities developed by the Moabi team.


download the available SuLu Reports