Palm oil-symposium-abstracts-1440


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Booklet of abstracts from our Palm Oil symposium in 2011.

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Palm oil-symposium-abstracts-1440

  1. 1. symposium• AT THE ZOOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF LONDON •SUSTAINABLE PALM OIL:CHALLENGES, A COMMONVISION AND THE WAYFORWARDThursday 5 and Friday 6 May 2011Organised by: Sophie Persey (ZSL) Sarah Christie (ZSL) Helen Crowley (WCS) Matthew Hatchwell (WCS) Ruth Nussbaum (ProForest) The Meeting Rooms The Zoological Society of London Regent’s Park London NW1 4RY With support from Biodiversity & Agricultural Commodities Programme of the International Finance Corporation and Corporation, Wilmar International
  2. 2. SUSTAINABLE PALM OIL: CHALLENGES, A COMMON VISION AND THE WAY FORWARD AN INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM HELD AT ZSL ON 5 AND 6 MAY 2011 ABSTRACTSThe following organisations and sponsors are thanked for their generous support With support from Biodiversity & Agricultural Commodities Programme of the International Finance Corporation, and Wilmar International , Sime Darby
  3. 3. SUSTAINABLE PALM OIL: CHALLENGES, A COMMON VISION AND THE WAY FORWARD AN INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM HELD AT ZSL ON 5 AND 6 MAY 2011 ABSTRACTS THURSDAY 5 MAY 9.15 Welcome from Jonathan Baillie (Director of Conservation Programmes, ZSL) SESSION I: PALM OIL AND SUSTAINABILITY (Chair: Jonathan Baillie, Zoological Society of London) 9.30 The business case for sustainable practice: protecting our natural assets Duncan Pollard, Sustainability Advisor, Nestlé Three and a half billion people live in cities, and have little opportunity to grow or gather their own food. These consumers rely upon, and therefore trust, the global food industry to bring them food that it safe, tasty and nutritious. The companies build that trust in many ways, but being able to answer three questions is fundamental: “is the food safe?”, “where does the food come from?”, and “how was the food made?” Strict regulation thankfully limits food safety problems, yet transparency in food sourcing and broader issues of sustainability are less strictly regulated, meaning that efforts to improve issues, such as traceability, working conditions and the income of the farmer, impacts on the environment, and the efficiency of energy and water usage, are all largely voluntary in nature. Traditionally, driving voluntary change has involved the construction of “the business case” to convince senior management in the company of the need to introduce more sustainable performance. Yet companies that have taken the sustainability journey typically talk about three evolutionary phases. A typical starting point is about justifying and building their sustainability programme based around “the business case”. At a more mature, second level, some companies build sustainability into their approach to risk management. Finally, and at the most sophisticated level, some companies have built their response out of their internal values. These values often link to the need to create societal value. Programmes responding to the sustainability agenda that are built on this latter foundation have the best chance of success. Therefore, collaboration between NGOs and companies can be most fruitful when recognising these different evolutionary stages, and intervention should follow this with three focus areas: attitude, organisational set-up and having the right tools in place. Finally, with companies each having their own values, and competing to differentiate themselves in the market place, progress on developing sustainable commodities (including palm oil) will not be about all companies achieving the same end point (e.g. 100% RSPO certified), but about each company finding a niche to create societal value. For Nestlé this is about focussing on rural development and net farm income. We believe that thriving farmers are the first step in developing sustainable practices and protecting our natural assets. 10.00 A global challenge: markets and oil palm expansion James Fry, LMC International, Oxford, UK Oilseed crops are special. Even before the advent of biofuels, the growth in demand for both vegetable oils and oilseed meals was considerably faster than the ability of crop breeders to increase yields; therefore, the areas planted to oilseed crops, led by soybeans, grew steadily. Grains were different. Total areas under grains actually fell in the decades before biofuels became a major source of demand. As a result, the combined areas under grain and oilseed crops worldwide changed little before 2000.For further information, please contact: Publications and Meetings, ZSL, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4RY, UK;
  4. 4. SUSTAINABLE PALM OIL: CHALLENGES, A COMMON VISION AND THE WAY FORWARD AN INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM HELD AT ZSL ON 5 AND 6 MAY 2011 ABSTRACTS Since 2000, biofuels have generated strong growth in the use of grains, notably maize for ethanol in the US, as well as in the demand for vegetable oils for biodiesel. These increases outstripped the ability of breeders to boost yields; hence, the areas under both grain and oil-bearing crops have risen significantly in the past decade. In the “olden days” (before biodiesel), the rates of growth in demand for meals and for oils were very similar, which meant that soybeans, containing roughly 80% meal and 20% oil, played a crucial role in meeting the needs for both. However, soybean’s bias towards meal meant that the world also needed crops that are more heavily tilted towards oil content. These include oil palm (nearly 90% oil and over 10% meal), rapeseed (40% oil, 60% meal) and sunflower (also 40% oil, 60% meal). Today, around one eighth of global demand for vegetable oils is generated by biofuels. The growth in this form of demand differs from that in the past in one crucial respect. Previously, rising incomes drove growth, with consumers wanting both more meat (and thus indirectly more meal to feed animals) and more oil as they became richer. Now, there is a major new form of end-use that is purely driven by policy, and which craves solely oil, without any demand for meal. One crop fits the bill better than any other, oil palm. It yields very little of the unwanted meal, but lots of oil, especially when its productivity per hectare is compared with other oilseed crops. In this respect, it does not actually matter whether palm oil goes to meet biofuel demand. If other vegetable oils are diverted to biofuels, they leave a gap in the supply of oils that palm is ideally placed to fill. The presentation will explain the dilemma created by biofuel policy and demonstrate the response of the oil palm sector to the price signals that biofuel demand has generated. 10.30 POSTER SESSION (TEA/COFFEE) SESSION II: PALM OIL AND THE ENVIRONMENT (Chair: Helen Crowley, Wildlife Conservation Society) 11.00 Reducing green house gas emissions from land use changes for oil palm development Fahmuddin Agus1, Petrus Gunarso2, Bambang H. Saharjo3, Abdul Rashid4, K.T. Joseph5, Nancy Harris6, and Meine van Noordwijk7 1 Indonesian Soil Research Institute, Bogor, Indonesia, 2Tropenbos Indonesia, 3Bogor Agricultural University/Sawit Watch, Bogor, Indonesia, 4Forest Research Institute Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, 5University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 6Winrock International, USA, 7World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), Nairobi, Kenya Land use changes for oil palm (OP) development has been perceived as the major source of GHG emission, but, to our knowledge, no comprehensive analyses have been done on this aspect. This on-going study is aimed at analyzing land use changes to oil palm plantation and predicting entailed CO2 emission. The study covers major oil palm producing countries in South East Asia, West Africa and South America, but the detailed work is for Indonesia and Malaysia. Land cover types are delineated from Landsat TM images by on-screen digitizing technique and verified with statistical data and, where available, high resolution Google Earth images. For mineral land, CO2 emission is estimated based on the changes in the above ground and soil carbon stocks while for peatland it is based on the change in the above ground C stock and the rate of peat decomposition, based on literature. The current analysis has not included peat fire effects on emissions. Interim results show that oil palm plantation in Sumatra, Kalimantan and Papua of Indonesia grows rapidly from about 1 million ha in 1990 to about 6.4 million ha in 2009 on mineral soil and from 0.3 to 1.7 million ha on peatland. The majority (57%) of the development took place on moderate to low above ground carbon stock lands, such as rubber plantation, scrub and grasslands and about 27% from disturbed and undisturbed forests. In Peninsular Malaysia, oilFor further information, please contact: Publications and Meetings, ZSL, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4RY, UK;
  5. 5. SUSTAINABLE PALM OIL: CHALLENGES, A COMMON VISION AND THE WAY FORWARD AN INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM HELD AT ZSL ON 5 AND 6 MAY 2011 ABSTRACTS palm plantation increased from 1.2 in 1990 to 2.5 million ha in 2006 and most of the changes were from rubber plantation and state forest lands. Change in above ground C stock, especially from forest, is the major source of land use change related CO2 emission. Despite a consistent increase in the development of new plantation with time, annual CO2 emissions from land conversion to OP in Indonesia was lower for the period of 2000 to 2005 compared to that of 1990 to 2000 because of the lesser proportion of forest converted. Prioritizing the use of low C stock lands and rehabilitation of drained and degraded peatlands to OP plantation, as well as maintaining shallow drainage for oil palm on peatland, potentially contribute to emission reduction. TOTAL 683,126 2,179,390 31% 2,193,123 10,054,721 22% 11.30 Can oil palm and biodiversity co-exist? Sophie Persey, Biodiversity & Oil Palm Project Manager, Zoological Society of London, Indonesia As the source of the world’s most sought after vegetable oil, rapid oil palm expansion across the tropics is set to continue. Yet, the increasing dominance of vast oil palm monocultures in regions naturally occupied by diverse tropical rainforests is one of the greatest threats to biodiversity on the planet. We cannot afford for our appetite for palm oil to come at the cost of biodiversity. Therefore, it is essential that we find ways to design and manage these agricultural landscapes to ensure that oil palm and biodiversity can co-exist. Studies of a range of different species groups clearly demonstrate that oil palm monoculture is a highly unsuitable habitat for a large number of species, particularly forest specialists. Despite this, many of these species are able to persist within patches of natural habitat that remain within oil palm concessions and the surrounding landscape, at least in the short term. This presentation will first review the ability of various species groups to persist within both oil palm monoculture and landscapes dominated by oil palm. The factors that influence will then be discussed in order to identify the key characteristics of a landscape in which oil palm and biodiversity can co-exist. 12.00 Securing sustainable ecosystem services within oil palm landscapes Jake Snaddon, Department of Zoology, Cambridge University, UK The expansion and intensification of agriculture is the major current threat to the conservation of biodiversity in South East Asia. Most animal taxa decrease in both species richness and abundance on conversion of forest to oil palm, and there is usually a severe loss of forest species. It is vital that we understand how these changes affect not just biodiversity but the ecosystem services provided by biodiversity in these managed ecosystems. The crucial question here is whether the documented losses in animal biodiversity associated with oil palm cultivation matter in relation to ecosystem function. There is considerable theoretical support for the notion that increased biodiversity has significant positive effects on ecosystem function and consequently ecosystem services. Species diversity also provides temporal resilience for ecosystem processes and the possibility for the system to adapt to future changes. However, we have exceptionally little reliable information on how the nature and extent of these changes and interactions may play out in the oil palm plantations. By intelligent manipulation of habitat complexity, it should be possible to enhance not only the number of species that can live in oil palm plantations but also their contribution to the healthy functioning of this exceptionally important and widespread landscape. Here, we will discuss what is known about the ecosystem services within oil palm landscapes that are potentially mediated by arthropods: biocontrol, pollination, decomposition and soil fertility. 12.30 LUNCHFor further information, please contact: Publications and Meetings, ZSL, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4RY, UK;
  6. 6. SUSTAINABLE PALM OIL: CHALLENGES, A COMMON VISION AND THE WAY FORWARD AN INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM HELD AT ZSL ON 5 AND 6 MAY 2011 ABSTRACTS SESSION III: BALANCING ENVIRONMENTAL & SOCIO-ECONOMIC GOALS (Chair: Tim Killeen, Conservation International)13.30 Reconciling targets for the environment, development and oil palm expansion John Garcia-Ulloa, ETH, Zurich & CIFOR and Lian Pin Koh, ETH, Zurich Oil palm agriculture has expanded rapidly in the last decades. Various countries in the tropics have expressed their plans of increasing crude palm oil production. The rapid expansion of oil palm agriculture for both food and fuel has raised concerns over the effects on the environment, food production and rural livelihoods. Finding ways to reconcile development, agricultural and environmental objectives has, thus, become a priority. This presentation focuses on a modeling exercise to explore the impacts of the expansion of oil palm agriculture on food production, ecosystems, biodiversity and biomass carbon stocks, using Colombia and Indonesia as case studies. We used a spatially explicit approach by, firstly, creating a database from overlaid GIS data on land use cover, above ground carbon content, protected areas, and yield potential of oil palm and other food crops. Secondly, we simulated the expansion of oil palm agriculture under five different scenarios: business as usual, food production, natural ecosystem protection, biomass carbon conservation and a hybrid scenario that combines all issues addressed in the single priority scenarios. The model outcomes for the single priority scenarios showed tradeoffs between development and environmental objectives. However, the combined approach resulted in lower effects for all issues addressed. Our results suggest that the tradeoffs associated with oil palm expansion can be largely avoided by implementing a properly planned and spatially explicit development strategy. 14.00 Maintaining High Conservation Values in oil palm landscapes Christopher Stewart, HCV Resource Network, UK One of the most important functions of sustainability standards for natural resources is to ensure that production activities do not damage or degrade outstandingly important biological, social and cultural values of the landscape. The Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil has adopted the High Conservation Value (HCV) approach as the framework for identifying and managing these critical attributes both in existing plantations and in areas designated for expansion. The HCV approach is based on six widely-accepted critical attributes of natural ecosystems. These cover the range of priorities which are of greatest concern to civil society and communities, including biodiversity, ecosystem services and social and cultural values. It was developed originally in the context of FSC forest management, where the approach leads to HCV zonation and management within a forest matrix. However, within RSPO (and other agriculture standards), the HCV concept becomes a tool for ensuring that important natural areas are not converted, and this has raised a number of significant challenges, not least a concern that poor application of the approach could lead to so-called “HCV islands” within plantation landscapes with little true long- term conservation value. The HCV approach holds great promise as a framework for bringing together the interests of plantation managers, local communities, NGOs and government. In order to deliver on this promise, a better understanding of the HCV approach and its proper application in the plantation context is essential. This presentation will outline the technical and institutional challenges that need to be tackled by RSPO and its stakeholders in order to ensure that the palm oil industry can deliver on the most fundamental aspects of environmental and social responsibility.For further information, please contact: Publications and Meetings, ZSL, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4RY, UK;
  7. 7. SUSTAINABLE PALM OIL: CHALLENGES, A COMMON VISION AND THE WAY FORWARD AN INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM HELD AT ZSL ON 5 AND 6 MAY 2011 ABSTRACTS 14.30 The challenges, costs & benefits of maintaining High Conservation Values Simon Siburat1, Melissa Tolley2 and Calley A.Beamish3 Wilmar International Limited, No. 9 Kreta Ayer Road,Singapore 088985 1 Group Sustainability Controller, 2Conservation and Primatologist, 3Biodiversity and Conservation Manager Like any voluntary standard, the implementation of the RSPO P & C has its fair share of challenges especially in the context of High Conservation Value (HCV) identification, management and protection. The Basic Agrarian Law that governs land use for Oil Palm cultivation does not recognize conservation set asides in line with HCV concepts which are for more than just providing environmental infrastructure. Land set aside as corridors for connectivity are often interpreted as idle land and before the land title is issued out to secure these areas, it can be repossessed by the local government and passed to another Grower, who may be a non-RSPO Member, for development. Even when the Land title has been issued, there are regulations that allow government to take the land back if the area is deemed to be not actively managed in accordance with the Land use provision of the land title which is for cultivation, livestock or aquaculture. Another challenge facing the growers in Indonesia is on the government regulation that makes it mandatory for companies to provide smallholdings to local communities based on 20% of the total land holdings under its control. In most cases, the community uses the HCV as a bargaining tool and want companies to include these HCVs areas as part of the 20% computation of the smallholding areas. Therefore companies often find it difficult to comply with developing smallholdings even on areas alienated for conservation. This is further complicated by the Current HCV toolkit in Indonesia which is a general toolkit well suited for identification for HCV under a Forest concession that generally has better quality forest and better chance of allowing individuals to become progenitors of new populations. Generally speaking, land offered for Oil Palm Cultivation usually has a relatively more degraded landscape. The precautionary approach adopted and the varying standards of interpretation by HCV assessors have led to a significant portion of land being not recommended for development when it has already been alienated for agricultural purposes by the Governmental Authorities. Cost in the context of HCVs can be divided into Cost of land acquisition, Operational cost of HCV and potential cost of having a HCV. For the land acquisition that will include land compensation, survey, legal cost and the cost to apply the land title, this cost can vary between USD 200/ha to USD 400/ha depending on the location and also time. HCV operational cost can be divided into Assessment cost and Management cost. Assessment cost varies between USD 4 – 8/ha depending on the site location. For HCV management it varies and is in the region of USD 6 – 8/ha/year. In terms of potential loss to companies, the amount can be substantial. Based on the average palm oil yield per ha of 4 – 7 t/ha and based on a 10 year average CPO price of USD 497/tone, the potential loss in return varies between USD 375 -1866/ha/year. Conserving HCV’s in this environment includes a number of intangible and tangible benefits among which but not limited to addressing stakeholder concern, compliance with sustainability standards (Branding), reputational enhancement, providing and protecting environmental services, protection of endangered species and eco-systems and Social licence. The HCV process helps in the maintenance of cultural identity and through the numerous processes of consultation, it ensures recognition of the community’s rights and galvanizes trust between the company and the community. 15.00 TEA/COFFEEFor further information, please contact: Publications and Meetings, ZSL, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4RY, UK;
  8. 8. SUSTAINABLE PALM OIL: CHALLENGES, A COMMON VISION AND THE WAY FORWARD AN INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM HELD AT ZSL ON 5 AND 6 MAY 2011 ABSTRACTS 15.30 Sustainable practice for smallholders: the challenges Jan Maartan Dros and Piers Gillespie, Solidaridad Globally, millions of smallholder farmers and rural workers depend on oil palm cultivation for subsistence and cash income. Indonesia and Malaysia are the biggest producers of palm oil but significant numbers of smallholders exist in West Africa, and oil palms are increasingly popular in places like Colombia, Thailand and Papua New Guinea. However, to earn a decent income many smallholders face legal, technical and organizational constraints. A case study from Indonesia reveals that poor road infrastructure, unclear land tenure, unclear arrangements with mills and/or cooperatives are among the most cited problems. The financing of a long-cycle crop like oil palm brings specific challenges to farmers without capital or secure land rights. Technical and organizational assistance are key to develop sustainable livelihoods for smallholders in the oil palm sector. RSPO has come up with tailor made standards for smallholders and has a strong commitment – including financial resources- to smallholder inclusion. However, it does not have its own farmer support structure in place and therefore inclusion of smallholders in RSPO relies on public, private and civil society efforts. In some countries and regions government support to smallholders is limited, and especially independent smallholders not linked to an (RSPO) mill lack support in such areas. Solidaridad is a development organization working with producers, traders, manufacturers and retail to make supply chains more sustainable. In the palm oil sector, we work with RSPO and RSPO members to provide smallholders with technical and organizational support to improve yields and efficiency and work towards RSPO compliance in the Palm Oil Producer Support Initiative (POPSI). Solidaridad partners with local implementation partners from the private, public and NGO sector to provide tailor made solutions that are scaleable if proven effective. Current partnerships include training of trainers with NBPOL in Papua New Guinea, smallholder support in Honduras, Colombia, Brazil and Ghana and training and High Conservation Value Area assessment with Iban smallholders in Sarawak, Malaysia. Dedicated support staff is operating from country and regional offices in Guatemala, Brazil, Ghana and Indonesia. For more information contact: 16.00 Directing Oil Palm Expansion onto ‘Degraded Land’ in Indonesia: What is it? Where is it? And what to do when you get there Moray McLeish, World Resources Institute, POTICO, Indonesia The President of Indonesia announced in April 2011 that “Indonesia has more than 30 million hectares of degraded land which are critical to our sustainable economic growth… my government will grant access to degraded lands for the industries that are serious in expanding or are planning to invest on these lands, for the welfare of our people and for the future of our planet... while exercising best practices” Drawing directly from field experience, WRI’s POTICO project has been advocating such a policy for over two years. POTICO has been compiling and creating ideas to define, map and use degraded land for the sustainable expansion of the palm oil industry in Indonesia - whilst clarifying what ‘best practice’ means.For further information, please contact: Publications and Meetings, ZSL, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4RY, UK;
  9. 9. SUSTAINABLE PALM OIL: CHALLENGES, A COMMON VISION AND THE WAY FORWARD AN INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM HELD AT ZSL ON 5 AND 6 MAY 2011 ABSTRACTS This presentation will detail the factors that must be taken into account before labeling a piece of land as ‘degraded’. Biophysical factors such as condition of natural vegetation and presence of HCVs are a starting point. Further questions then have to be asked to determine if the degraded land is suitable for sustainable palm oil expansion. What is its carbon stock? Do soil type and slope make production economically viable? The question then arises as to whether or not palm oil expansion is socially desirable in a given area – how can a developer use community mapping approaches to secure the free and prior informed consent of local people to a new development. A final consideration – perhaps unique to Indonesia- will also be examined: Land status and legality. Many areas officially designated as forest estate are in fact devoid of trees (i.e. degraded). But without a change in legal status, using such land for agriculture is illegal. Land swaps are a promising way to ‘unlock’ this land. The presentation will describe WRI’s experiences on the ground in implementing a land swap. It will highlight the positive steps being taken by the Government of Indonesia, through its REDD+ partnership with Norway, to create a degraded land database to facilitate further land swaps. 16.30 Panel Discussion Tim Killeen, Conservation International 17.00 POSTER SESSION with cash bar 18.30 End of day One 19.00 SYMPOSIUM DINNER – tickets to be booked in advanceFor further information, please contact: Publications and Meetings, ZSL, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4RY, UK;
  10. 10. SUSTAINABLE PALM OIL: CHALLENGES, A COMMON VISION AND THE WAY FORWARD AN INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM HELD AT ZSL ON 5 AND 6 MAY 2011 ABSTRACTS FRIDAY 6 MAY 8.45 Welcome from Matthew Hatchwell (Director, Wildlife Conservation Society Europe) SESSION IV: THE ROLE OF PRODUCER GOVERNMENTS (Chair: Abraham Baffoe, ProForest) 9.00 Strengthening legal frameworks in Indonesia Suer Suryadi, Noviar Andayani and Nick Brickle, Wildlife Conservation Society-Indonesia Program Oil palm plantations have growing rapidly over the past 30 years in Indonesia. Currently at least 7.9 million hectares of oil palm plantation are already set up across Indonesia, producing a total 21.6 million tons CPO, and generating USD 14.1 billion for the country’s GDP. The legal framework for the establishment and management of oil palm plantation in Indonesia falls under the remit of five ministries, including the Ministry of Agriculture , the Ministry of Forestry, the State Ministry of Environment, the State Ministry of Land, and the Ministry of Public Works. In addition, other aspects fall under the responsibility of provincial and district government. Altogether, over 20 regulations define the responsibilities of each sectors and touching on issues ranging from spatial planning to agriculture, forestry, environmental protection, and land’s rights. WCS reviewed all these legislation seeking to identify inconsistencies, loop holes, and recommendation for reform. Preliminary findings of the study showed that while many legislations were normatively good, they often lacked integration between sectors, lacked technical guidance, lacked mechanisms to control permitting between different government agencies, and often lacked means to punish violators. These “problem areas” were all highlighted in the review. The analysis also focused on legal and management issues surrounding the protection of High Conservation Value areas within plantation areas. While such areas often do not have direct legal protection in Indonesia, there may be opportunities to consider them under several indirect legislation, including those related to Strategic Environmental Assessment, spatial planning, and “PROPER (a government-managed program to assess a company’s environmental compliance). Our presentation includes an overview of the legal review conducted by WCS and recommendation for legal and policy reform. We will also provide an update of more recently issued regulations, including the proposed “Moratorium” on forest clearing, the Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil Standard, and revised procedures to release forestland for plantation establishment. These new regulations are all expected to improve environmental governance within the oil palm sectors. plantation and conservation governance as normatively stated on regulations. 9.30 Spatial planning as a tool to guide responsible production in Indonesia Dolly Priatna, ZSL Indonesia Country Co-Co-ordinator 10.00 The outlook for large scale oil palm expansion in Liberia Chea Garley Sr, Assistant Minister for Technical Services, Ministry of Agriculture, Republic of Liberia Liberia is an agricultural nation; 60% of the nation exports are derived from agricultural products and about 90% of the Liberian population earns its livelihood from agriculture. Liberia had a very important oil palm sector with both private and state plantations, which before the war could compete with other African countries such as Ivory Coast, Ghana and Nigeria. It is difficult toFor further information, please contact: Publications and Meetings, ZSL, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4RY, UK;
  11. 11. SUSTAINABLE PALM OIL: CHALLENGES, A COMMON VISION AND THE WAY FORWARD AN INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM HELD AT ZSL ON 5 AND 6 MAY 2011 ABSTRACTS establish with certainty the total planted acreage of oil palm plantations before the civil unrest, which might have been around 27,000 Ha, the total land allocated to the various operators in the oil palm sector for exploitation was estimated at 50,000 Ha. All the plantations in the Liberian oil palm sector were established between the early sixties and the early eighties (1960 to 1984) and the trees have considerably aged (above 30 years). Now, there is a review of the current situation and investments opportunities in the oil palm sector for creating income and opportunities for boosting Liberia economy. The stage is now set for dramatic developments in the Liberian oil palm sector. Four major international oil palm companies two of the largest Malaysian and Indonesian companies, Sime Darby , Sinar Mas known locally as Golden VerOleum, Equatorial Palm Oil Limited and Socfin/Cavalla have signed and ratified concessions agreements with the Liberian Government. Liberian oil palm export potential Oil palm is widely grown on smallholder farms often for domestic or regional consumption and represent half the country total agricultural GDP. Palm oil shows steady export growth from a very low base, with over 90% of this being destined for north Africa, such as Algeria. Liberia crude oil palm production is seasonal and does not satisfy domestic demand. Depending on the outcome of the domestic harvest, import levels of refined crude palm oil range between 2,000 to 10,000 tonnes. There is an opportunity to increase local palm oil production in the county due to a high consumer preference. Local crude oil prices are about twice as high as international prices, indicating excess demand. Major plantations in Liberia have indicated expansions plans but land tenure has been stated as a major constraint. Nevertheless existing plantations have ambitious rehabilitation and expansion plans, despite low domestic yields in Liberia; palm oil production appears to be an attractive activity. There is an unmet demand for palm oil in the ECOWAS region, which is estimated at 360,000 tons annually. This regional demand is a potential export market. The relatively low world market price of oil palm when compared with prices of alternative vegetable oils plus the high costs of sea freight ensures a high demand among industrial processors for oil palm produced in the region. Both trends seem to be structural and thus provide a basis for expanded production, processing and marketing of oil palm and its derivatives. Traditional marketing channels are less clear. Fresh fruit as well as crude palm oil can be purchased in urban and rural centers, while crude palm oil can be purchased in urban centers high percentage of palm oil is consumed on‐farm or sold on nearby rural markets. There is a net work of itinerant, small‐scale traders who convey the produce and market it in deficit areas around urban conglomerations. The relatively high costs of sea freight in combination with the fact that other vegetables oils are relatively more expensive make industrial production and processing of palm oil an economically viable option. In 2005 production was 30,000 tons (IFC figure) to 42,000 tons (USDA figure), all consumed locally, with another 7,000 tons of refined palm oil imported from South East Asia. ECOWAS, West African nations as a whole imported 308,000 tons in 2007, so there is clearly already a large unmet regional demand for palm oil. The post‐ conflict reconstruction of the oil palm sectors offers major opportunities for introducing international best practices to be designed in from an early stage. The demand for crude palm oil (CPO) has dramatically expanded on international markets, and interest from large companies to invest in Liberia has increased. Although industrials operators in the country oil palm sector are yet to achieve their full potential and export orientated marketing and processing infrastructure requires major rehabilitation or new construction. Liberia out grower policy needs to be receptive and positive to potential interest and demand to invest in the oil palm sector, create an enabling policy environment to facilitate private sector support/investment thus achieving its rural development goals. Production potentials The favorable agro‐climatic conditions of Liberia ensure that the potentials of the oil palm sector are quite impressive compared to sub regional sectors with poorer soils and significant moisture deficits. Hence, with the right investments and industrial management approach, the Liberian Oil palm Sector is capable of easily producing 18Mt to 20Mt of FFB per hectare.For further information, please contact: Publications and Meetings, ZSL, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4RY, UK;
  12. 12. SUSTAINABLE PALM OIL: CHALLENGES, A COMMON VISION AND THE WAY FORWARD AN INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM HELD AT ZSL ON 5 AND 6 MAY 2011 ABSTRACTS Large scale oil palm expansion in Liberia As regarding large scale oil palm expansion in Liberia, the following companies are improving their concessions areas: Golden VerOleum(Liberia) Inc, a subsidiary of the Verdant Fund Lp whose major investors include Golden Agri‐ Resources Ltd entered in to a concession agreement with the Government of Liberia for the development of oil palm plantation in Sinoe, Grand kru, Maryland, Rivercess and River Gee Counties in Southeastern Liberia. The signed and ratified concession agreement which was awarded to GVL covers a total of Approximately 500,000 acres (220,000 hectares).The concession agreement provides for the Government and GVL to implement a social and community development program, which includes employee housing, education and medical care. Additionally, a Liberian smallholder program is to develop 100,000 acres (40,000 hectares) of oil palm in support of local Liberia oil palm initiatives. In support of biodiversity conservation in the country, GVL is under obligation to carefully preserve original forest and areas of high bio diversity, sacred community lands located within its project area. As part of its obligation under the concession agreement, GVL has decided to initiate this large‐scale oil palm plantation by beginning with the cultivation of 33,000 ha of land in three districts of Sinoe County: Greenville, Butaw and Kpanyan. GVL has already obtained a provisional permit from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the establishment of a 50 acres nursery, demonstration and training site in Plusonnie, Butaw District, which is to serve as a ground for training and project initiation. Sime Darby The Liberian Government in a 63 years concession agreement with Sime Darby provided 120,000 hectares of land in three counties (Bomi, Cape Mount and Gbarpolu) for the planting of oil palm. The government also promised to make available additional 100,000 hectares of land. An estimated one million oil palm seedlings are on nurseries waiting to be planted. Conclusions Palm oil industry expansion in Liberia brings major potential economic benefits in the form of revenues, employment, and investments, but the threat of forest conversion and biodiversity losses requires strong cooperation between, industry and NGOs.Toward this end, Liberia has significant potential in promoting sustainable practices and selling higher value certified products since all the companies with established concessions are members of the international Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil(RSPO). 10.30 POSTER SESSION (TEA/COFFEE) SESSION V: MECHANISMS TO ASSIST SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTION (Chair: Melvin Gumal, Wildlife Conservation Society) 11.00 Increasing the effectiveness of the RSPO Darrel Webber, RSPO Secretary General, Malaysia 11.30 The challenges of compensating for impacts on ecosystems & biodiversity Kerry Ten Kate, BBOP This presentation will start by defining biodiversity offsets and contrasting them with ‘compensation’. It will then focus on challenges for compensation and how these might be tackled. Technical challenges include: quantifying biodiversity impacts, losses and gains; establishing which impacts may not be capable of being offset, and taking management measures to avoid these; and quantifying ecosystem services. Among the political challenges are: building theFor further information, please contact: Publications and Meetings, ZSL, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4RY, UK;
  13. 13. SUSTAINABLE PALM OIL: CHALLENGES, A COMMON VISION AND THE WAY FORWARD AN INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM HELD AT ZSL ON 5 AND 6 MAY 2011 ABSTRACTS ‘business case’ and corporate will for offsets/compensation; ensuring offset and compensation standards reflect best practice and enjoy the multistakeholder support needed to substantiate the business case; ensuring best practice in biodiversity offsets and compensation are integrated with parallel standards and requirements such as RSPO and IFC Performance Standard 6; and designing a system that is workable for palm oil companies and auditors, ‘fair’ for stakeholders and that enjoys broad support from society. Finally, a first sketch of possible solutions for the palm oil sector will be presented, comprising three components: compensation for clearing HCV between 2005-7 counter to Criterion 7.3, subsequent clearance counter to Criterion 7.3, and, for the future: ‘no net loss’ landscape level planning for clearance of non-HCV biodiversity. 12.00 A review of principles, practice and stakeholder expectations for minimizing negative impacts of oil palm on the environment Gary D. Paoli & Philip L. Wells Daemeter Consulting, Indonesia Controlling social and environmental impacts of oil palm (OP) plantation agriculture requires identifying and excluding high impact areas from development (avoidance), taking measures to minimize impacts where new plantations are developed (mitigation), and potentially contributing voluntary positive net benefits off-site to compensate for unavoidable impacts on-site where plantations are built (offsets). We use this framework to highlight a number of challenges and opportunities for avoiding, mitigating and offsetting OP impacts in Indonesia, with the underlying goal of helping to shape priorities for future action. Our analysis draws heavily on experiences from Indonesia, but general messages will apply in diverse country settings. The largest gains to be made through avoidance rest on effective spatial planning and licensing procedures to prevent licenses being issued where potential impacts are too high. When spatial planning fails, investor due diligence and Social and Environmental Impact Assessment (SEIA) requirements in theory provide additional safeguards. In Indonesia, there is significant room (and need) for improving spatial planning to avoid future impacts through (i) gaining access to better and more recent high resolution data over large areas, (ii) using decision support tools for analyzing complex trade-offs and (iii) allowing broader stakeholder participation to ensure sustainability criteria (not just crop suitability) are incorporated and results are seen as credible. In areas where OP development will move forward, impact mitigation becomes the primary objective. Much creative work is being pursued on this front and, though in early stages, indicates necessary enabling factors include (i) a supportive regulatory framework, (ii) cost effective data acquisition and analysis to guide spatial features of plantation development, (iii) overcoming limitations of size, where individual license areas are too small to achieve objectives on-site, and (iv) effective engagement of diverse local stakeholders to support management efforts. Formal offsets in the OP context are not widely discussed, but merit serious consideration where costs of on-site mitigation are high, and do not justify potential gains. We close by drawing attention to the fact that philosophies concerning net impacts envisaged by ‘responsible OP development’ differ widely among stakeholder groups. Realigning expectations will create better enabling conditions for success through collaboration and agreement on priorities. Promoting dialogue toward this end should be a top priority. 12.30 LUNCHFor further information, please contact: Publications and Meetings, ZSL, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4RY, UK;
  14. 14. SUSTAINABLE PALM OIL: CHALLENGES, A COMMON VISION AND THE WAY FORWARD AN INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM HELD AT ZSL ON 5 AND 6 MAY 2011 ABSTRACTS SESSION VI: THE MARKET FOR SUSTAINABLE PALM OIL (Chair: Catherine Cassagne, International Finance Corporation) 13.30 Responsible investment as a driver of sustainable production John Laidlow, HSBC Financial institutions can play an important role in contributing to sustainable development. Their role of providing financial services to companies which may be involved in sensitive sectors places them in a different role to many other parts of the traditional supply chain. HSBC explains how it developed its policy towards the palm oil sector and some of the challenges of implementing it. 14.00 The role of media and civil society in promoting sustainable palm oil production and consumption Adam Harrison, WWF The presentation sets out the achievements of the RSPO to date in promoting the production and demand for certified sustainable palm oil but places this in the context of the much bigger task ahead which is to see substantial change in the global demand for CSPO and in particular the demand in Asia. It focuses in particular on where the supply and demand for CSPO is heading in the next 4 to 5 years. Whereas it is relatively easy to see that significant volumes of CSPO will be available by 2015 it is less easy to predict what the demand will be until there is greater transparency in the market. There has been a clear role at least in the UK and Europe for campaigns by civil society and by the media in raising awareness of the problems around palm oil production but it has been the compromise and engagement facilitated by the RSPO that has helped to develop the potential solutions to those problems. And there is a continuing role for civil society in engaging in a range of ways with the industry as a whole in order to make sure that the solutions are implemented. This conclusion is underscored by the experience presented by one of the most recent and most high profile campaigns by an NGO which clearly shows that it is the diversity of how civil society can engage which will achieve real results in the end. The RSPO presents a valuable forum within which this diversity of approaches can sit and both NGOs and the RSPO would benefit immensely from having more social and environmental NGO members. Interestingly the palm oil industry is learning from the example of civil society and is in some cases starting to take on similar approaches. However what is needed now is not necessarily more combative campaigning but instead more honesty and compromise from both sides of the debate. 14.30 The manufacturers’ approach to sustainable palm oil Neil la Croix, Director of Sustainable Supply Chains, Kraft Foods 15.00 POSTER SESSION (TEA/COFFEE) 15.30 Consumer Governments: roles to support sustainable palm oil Sara Eppel, DEFRAFor further information, please contact: Publications and Meetings, ZSL, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4RY, UK;
  15. 15. SUSTAINABLE PALM OIL: CHALLENGES, A COMMON VISION AND THE WAY FORWARD AN INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM HELD AT ZSL ON 5 AND 6 MAY 2011 ABSTRACTS Palm oil is the world’s most consumed vegetable oil, and its production is an important tool to address rural poverty in developing countries. However, conversion of natural rainforest and peatlands to palm oil plantations can have serious consequences for climate change, through increased greenhouse gas emissions, and accelerate biodiversity loss. Demand-side measures to address the unsustainable production of palm oil are crucial in encouraging wider behaviour change across the whole palm oil supply chain. The UK Government is therefore considering a series of specific policy interventions relating to sustainable palm oil sourcing, along with potential approaches to promote the consumption of certified sustainable palm oil across the UK market. These approaches have been informed by an extensive mapping project to better understand UK palm consumption and identify priority areas where government intervention can have the greatest impact. The full results of the report will be presented on 6th May; the headline findings show that in 2009 the UK imported about 1,650,000 metric tons of palm oil, palm kernel oil and palm kernel meal, mainly from Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. The majority of this oil/meal was used in food products and animal feed. Many major retailers have committed to targets for switching to the purchasing of certified sustainable palm oil; currently about 23% of palm used in the UK is certified sustainable, mainly through the buying of GreenPalm certificates (a similar process to buying green electricity) or certified through the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). In addition to this mapping report, a detailed study exploring policy options for future government intervention was also carried out. This involved a large element of stakeholder consultation, which identified a particular appetite for combining awareness-raising and support with other interventions, for example a time-bound goal for voluntary reporting. Future plans for government intervention to promote the consumption of certified sustainable palm oil, as informed by this study, will be presented.16.00 Prospects and Challenges of Sustainable Palm Oil for China Chen Ying, Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Import & Export of Foodstuffs Along with the economic growth, China’s demand for edible vegetable oil has been increasing in recent years. Now China has become one of the largest palm oil importers in the world. In the framework of China-Britain dialogue this year, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce and the British Ministry of Countryside, Resources and Environment have jointly carried out the research on promoting the development of sustainable palm oil in China, and entrusted China Chamber of Commerce for Import & Export of Foodstuffs, Native Produce & Animal By-Products (CFNA) to undertake this subject. The objectives of the study are to (1) provide strategic policy guidance for the Chinese government towards the development of sustainable palm oil, (2) facilitate the adoption of sustainable trade policy with regard to palm oil in the upper levels of Chinese government and (3) provide a business case for shifting to sustainable palm oil that is relevant for Chinese commerce. The RSPO definition for sustainable palm oil production methods is that they should be “comprised of legal, economically viable, environmentally appropriate and socially beneficial management and operations.” The subject of the research, “Prospects and Challenges of Sustainable Palm Oil for China”, is divided into seven parts: (1) Background, objectives, approach and scope of the Study; (2) Overview of the world palm oil industry; (3) China’s palm oil industry situation; (4) Production, purchase and utilization of sustainable palm oil; (5) Business case for production, procurement and sustainable use of palm oil; (6) Policy analysis and suggestions regarding the promotion of sustainable palm oil in China: (i) Establish a national policy objective for sustainable palm oil; (ii) Establish a Chinese market-based sustainability certification standard for palm oil traders, food processors and industrial users; (iii) Support domestic awareness-raising and demand for sustainable palm oil; (iv) Issue guidelines governing environment and sustainable development requirements for Chinese overseas investment and operation of Chinese enterprises abroadFor further information, please contact: Publications and Meetings, ZSL, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4RY, UK;
  16. 16. SUSTAINABLE PALM OIL: CHALLENGES, A COMMON VISION AND THE WAY FORWARD AN INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM HELD AT ZSL ON 5 AND 6 MAY 2011 ABSTRACTS (v) Initiate an international cooperation program to address China’s expanding ecological footprint related to estate crop commodity imports; (7) Conclusion. In short, the production of palm oil ranks first in vegetable oil category and holds an important position in global vegetable oil market. So it is of the utmost importance to promote the development of sustainable palm oil in China. We should help deepen the understanding about sustainable palm oil, especially the understanding about the importance of sustainable economic development in China. It will allow the import firms and the public to understand that the issue between environment and development has become a significant challenge faced by the humanity. The constant deterioration in environment impacts on the existence and sustainable development of the humanity directly. If China wants to realize a sustainable development in future and ensure a sustainable use in natural resources, each firm has its responsibility and takes its action to raise the efficiency in use of natural resources, and makes some efforts within its power in raising the renewable ability of resources. SESSION VII: THE WAY FORWARDS (Chair: Ruth Nussbaum, ProForest) 16.30 Lessons learnt and the way forwards Ruth Nussbaum, ProForest, UK Building on the presentations and discussion of the two days of the Symposium, this final presentation will seek to summarise what we know and don’t know, and what options this presents us for a sustainable way forward for the oil palm sector.17.00 End of SymposiumFor further information, please contact: Publications and Meetings, ZSL, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4RY, UK;
  17. 17. SUSTAINABLE PALM OIL: CHALLENGES, A COMMON VISION AND THE WAY FORWARD AN INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM HELD AT ZSL ON 5 AND 6 MAY 2011 ABSTRACTS SUSTAINABLE PALM OIL: CHALLENGES, A COMMON VISION AND THE WAY FORWARD POSTER PRESENTATIONSTowards the sustainable production of palm oil: which research do we need?Cécile Bessou1, Emmanuelle Cheyns2, Marcel Djama2, Hubert Omont3 and Alain Rival41 UPR34.Cirad Persyst. Montpellier, France; 2 UMR MOISA. Cirad ES, Montpellier, France;3 DGDRS Cirad, Montpellier, France; 4UMR DIADE. Cirad BioS-IRD-UM2. Montpellier, France.Email: alain.rival@cirad.frThe cultivation of oil palm has become emblematic of the trade-off between development andconservation that agricultural commodities have to face: matching an increasing globaldemand while preserving the capacity of land to provide ecosystems services, and preservingnatural forests.Towards the aim of providing solutions to such controversial issues, the Roundtable onSustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) was created in 2004 as a business-to-business initiativebringing together NGOs and private stakeholders under a voluntary certification scheme. Theforces and weaknesses of RSPO are related to its business-to-business origin and intrinsicnature. Principles and criteria were designed to provide a shared framework for stakeholderswho are willing to voluntarily commit themselves towards a sustainable palm oil production butnot as a detailed methodology and control points to actually assess the impacts. The RSPOprinciples and criteria thus need to be revisited and associated with complementary diagnosissteps integrating the broad diversity of oil palm-based cropping systems and the constraintsthese systems have to face.Our strategy is: • To provide science-based knowledge and tools to ensure the sustainability of production systems or to implement new sustainable systems • To involve stakeholders in the innovation process through multi-agent modeling or workshops • To identify obstacles and bottlenecks and analyze whether they are related to some inherent incapacity of oil palm cropping systems to adapt or/and to insufficient efforts in making knowledge and tools accessible to end-usersThe generation of multidisciplinary research networks which are able to deliver science-basedproducts of direct interest for end-users is now of paramount importance.Clear Labels, Not Forests: how labelling palm oil will support the drive towardssustainable productionHelen Buckland, Sumatran Orangutan Society, The Old Music Hall, 106-108 Cowley Road,Oxford, OX4 1JE, UKEmail: Helen@orangutans-sos.orgPalm oil is in high demand as an ingredient in many food items, driving rapid expansion ofmonoculture plantations, often at the expense of biodiverse forest ecosystems. Palm oil isfound in up to half of all top-selling grocery brands in supermarkets across Europe. Currently, For further information, please contact: Publications and Meetings, ZSL, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4RY, UK;
  18. 18. SUSTAINABLE PALM OIL: CHALLENGES, A COMMON VISION AND THE WAY FORWARD AN INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM HELD AT ZSL ON 5 AND 6 MAY 2011 ABSTRACTSthere is no requirement in the EU for food manufacturers to label palm oil or palm kernel oil onpackaging, and it is usually labelled as vegetable oil.The Clear Labels, Not Forests campaign supports the mandatory labelling of palm oil, whichwill help to drive demand for certified sustainable palm oil from Europe.Many leading European retailers and food manufacturers have joined the Roundtable onSustainable Palm Oil and have made commitments to purchase palm oil only from certifiedsustainable sources by 2015. Given the choice between a product containing palm oil, andone containing certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO), environmentally conscious Europeanconsumers will choose the latter. Enabling consumer choice through labelling will provide theimpetus for other companies to make time-bound pledges to source CSPO, ultimatelysupporting the palm oil industry in moving towards more sustainable production.This will help reduce one of the primary drivers of deforestation in top palm oil producingcountries such as Indonesia and Malaysia, avoiding devastating biodiversity loss andconserving forests that play a crucial role in climate change prevention. All stakeholdersshould work together to educate consumers on the benefits of CSPO over uncertified palm oil,and the benefits of palm oil over other vegetable oils.Assisting oil palm smallholders through commodity chains: the Solidaridad Palm OilProducers Support Initiative (POPSI)Jan Maarten Dros and Piers Gillespie, Piers Gillespie, Business Development ManagerDaemeter, CBSCM SEA, SolidaridadEmail: and is an international network organization with more than 20 years of experiencecreating sustainable supply chains from the producer to the consumer in agri-commodities.The approach enables producers in developing countries to get a better price for better qualityproducts, whilst helping companies in the marketplace find sustainable suppliers andimplement more meaningful Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives on a globalscale.Solidaridad has established the Palm Oil Producer Support Initiative (POPSI). We supportsmallholders implement better agricultural practices and coordinates our efforts withplantations, government agencies, and NGOs.There is significant potential to address some of the problems associated with oil palmexpansion by targeting existing planted areas. Investments in smallholder organizations,training, and replanting with higher-yielding varieties are necessary. Solidaridad looks forpartnerships with producers and financial institutions to establish investment models forrecuperation of low-productivity plantations. Donor funds are matched 2:3 with contributionsfrom RSPO members.The Palm Oil Producer Support Initiative targets 35,000 smallholders and 100,000 plantationworkers in Central and Latin America, Asia and Africa. Projects to date have included PapuaNew Guinea, where a field and practice training module was designed and an intensiveclassroom and field training course has been organised for 30 OPIC agents, resulting in 7,000small-scale palm oil farmers in Papua New Guinea trained, and in Malaysia, wheresustainable smallholder training has commenced and training materials will be prepared anddistributed to smallholder oil palm long house communities. For further information, please contact: Publications and Meetings, ZSL, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4RY, UK;
  19. 19. SUSTAINABLE PALM OIL: CHALLENGES, A COMMON VISION AND THE WAY FORWARD AN INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM HELD AT ZSL ON 5 AND 6 MAY 2011 ABSTRACTSEvaluating the impact of palm oil on amphibian species richness and assemblagecomposition in Peninsular MalaysiaAisyah Faruk1,2, Rob Knell1 and Trent Garner21 School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Queen Mary University of London, London E14NS and 2Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London, Regent’s Park, London, NW14RY, UKEmail: oil production is a fast growing, billion-dollar industry, which is currently dominated bycountries such as Indonesia and Malaysia. Collectively, these two countries produce 80% ofthe world’s palm oil, most of which is exported for use in food production, cosmetics andsoaps. Recently, palm oil has been heavily criticised over its negative effects on theenvironment, responsible for mass habitat destruction and pollution. In addition to this,surveys on a number of animal taxa showed reduced species diversity after conversion, alongwith the loss of forest dependent species. However, amphibian surveys are lacking and asnews on global amphibian decline increases, the effects this type of agriculture has on localamphibians needs to be addressed. Research suggests that one-third of all amphibianspecies are at risk from extinction, with habitat loss and parasite infection being the two mainthreats to amphibian populations.The current research focuses on the impact of oil palm on amphibian communities inPeninsular Malaysia. Fifty-seven plots from oil palm plantations and secondary-forest siteswere surveyed in the summer of 2009 for amphibians and macrohabitat variables of thoseplots were also noted. The number of individuals and species found in oil palm were similar tothat found in the forest; however, there were marked differences in community structure.Disturbance-tolerant, temporary pool breeders were more common in the plantations, whileforest sites had a higher number of stream-dwelling species. Further work on this subjectincludes looking at the effects oil palm has on amphibian health.Enhancing biodiversity within palm oil: butterflies, stakeholders and the consumerEllie Lindsay1, Andrew Ramsey2, Ian Convery3, and Eunice Simmons41-3 Centre for Wildlife Conservation, 4National School of Forestry, University of Cumbria,Newton Rigg Campus, Penrith, Cumbria, UKEmail:;;; interdisciplinary study examines biodiversity management approaches for oil palmplantations in Sabah, Malaysia. Study sites within an oil palm plantation including riparianreserves, forest fragments, grazed oil palm areas, and monoculture oil palm were sampledusing butterflies an indicator of biodiversity. A significant difference in abundance and speciesrichness was found between all sites. When pairwise comparisons were made there was nosignificant difference in abundance between the forest fragment and the riparian reserve. Aseries of semi-structured interviews were conducted following on from the biodiversity study toascertain stakeholder’s opinion surrounding conservation strategies within oil palm plantationsin Malaysia. Connectivity between forest fragments was the most emergent theme arisingfrom interviews. It was apparent that there is growing awareness from the oil palm industry ofbiodiversity conservation through the work of NGOs and in particular through theestablishment of the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). However, it is also clearthat there must be economic incentives in order for plantation managers to remain engaged in For further information, please contact: Publications and Meetings, ZSL, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4RY, UK;
  20. 20. SUSTAINABLE PALM OIL: CHALLENGES, A COMMON VISION AND THE WAY FORWARD AN INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM HELD AT ZSL ON 5 AND 6 MAY 2011 ABSTRACTSconservation. The final part of this research has looked at willingness to pay by UKconsumers. This involved an online questionnaire in the form of a choice experiment,attitudinal variables and demographic questions. A conditional logit model was used toanalyze the choice experiment data. We found that consumers were willing to pay significantpremiums for certified palm oil products particularly if the product claimed to enhance wildlife.Spillover from rainforest contributes to species diversity in adjacent oil palmplantationsJennifer Lucey and Jane Hill, University of York, UKEmail: of natural forest to oil palm plantations is a major threat to biodiversity in SE Asia.The retention of natural forest habitats within plantations has been proposed as a method toreduce biodiversity losses in agricultural areas, and we examined whether forest areasresulted in spillover of species into adjacent oil palm plantations. Ants and butterflies weresampled along two 2-km transects across an ecotone from plantation into adjacent forest inSabah, Malaysian Borneo.Species richness of both taxa was reduced in plantations, but to a greater extent in butterflies(54% reduction) than in ants (25% reduction). Butterfly diversity in plantations increased withincreasing proximity to forest, implying a spillover effect. By contrast, ants showed no spillovereffects and were less sensitive to land-use changes, with 40% of ant species occurringcommonly in both forest and oil palm habitats but only 12% of butterflies. Our results forbutterflies suggest that despite the negative impacts of plantations on diversity, proximity toforest could improve diversity in adjacent plantations for some taxa.Patches of natural forest are often retained within plantations in areas unsuitable for growingoil palm, and these patches may not only increase diversity but may also facilitate dispersal ofspecies by increasing landscape connectivity within plantations.GreenPalm - driving sustainable palm productionBob Norman, GreenPalm bob.norman@greenpalm.orgIn 2010 world production of palm oil stood at 46m tonnes, in 1976 it stood at 3.5m tonnes.With a huge global population increase, the need to drive economic growth and development,palm oil has found itself as the number one global edible oil due to its numerous advantages.This huge growth has caused environmental issues to the major palm producing countries ofMalaysia and Indonesia.To tackle the rising demand for palm oil, a multi-stakeholder group ‘Roundtable onSustainable Palm Oil‘ was formed to tackle the growing sustainability issues. In 2005 theprinciples and criteria were launched and in August 2008 the first palm producer receivedRSPO certification.GreenPalm successfully launched in September 2008. The unique Book&Claim system, anRSPO-approved supply-chain option, tackles the issues of the global palm supply chain,which puts major challenges on companies in switching to physical sustainable palm. RSPOapproved producers can register their sustainable output through GreenPalm with 1 tonne of For further information, please contact: Publications and Meetings, ZSL, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4RY, UK;
  21. 21. SUSTAINABLE PALM OIL: CHALLENGES, A COMMON VISION AND THE WAY FORWARD AN INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM HELD AT ZSL ON 5 AND 6 MAY 2011 ABSTRACTSpalm oil or palm kernel representing 1 GreenPalm certificate. Certificates are then placed onthe GreenPalm trading platform with product manufacturers that use palm in their productsbeing able to join the programme and place bids on certificates equal to the amount of palmoil they use—directly supporting their usage in a sustainable manner with RSPO producersbeing rewarded for their sustainable output.Since its launch 1.7m GreenPalm certificates have been traded with $13m in rewards toRSPO producers, with a membership of over 250 companies. The number of companiesinvolved in the initiative is increases every weekZSL’s Biodiversity & Oil Palm Project, Indonesia: Increasing the effectiveness of theRSPO Biodiversity Principles and CriteriaSophie Persey, Biodiversity & Oil Palm Project Manager, Zoological Society of London,IndonesiaEmail: Sophie.persey@zsl.orgMitigating the significant negative environmental impacts of palm oil production is an urgentchallenge for biodiversity conservation in Indonesia. Currently, the key mechanism in place toachieve this is the multi-stakeholder Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO). The RSPOwas established in 2004 and has since developed a set of Principles and Criteria, whichdefine a standard for ‘sustainable’ palm oil production and against which producers can becertified. The key provision within the RSPO P&C to mitigate impacts on biodiversity is therequirement to identify, maintain and enhance High Conservation Values (HCVs) that remainwithin established plantations (P&C 5.2) and areas allocated for new development (P&C 7.3).Whilst good in theory, putting this into practice remains extremely challenging. In effort toovercome this ZSL is working with palm oil producers and HCV consultants to developpractical tools and guidance to assist practitioners to implement this standard more effectively.We are also working with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) to identify and address keypolicy related barriers that currently hinder effective implementation of this standard. This twoyear project (October 2009 – September 2011) is funded by the Biodiversity and AgriculturalCommodities Programme, with match funding from the palm oil company WilmarInternational.Converting tropical forest to oil palm: a systematic review of changes in functionalbiodiversityMichael J. M. Senior, University of York, UKEmail: palm agriculture is the main current driver of deforestation in South East Asia, and has welldocumented negative impacts on biodiversity. A number of recent review papers have shownthat conversion of tropical forest to oil palm reduces species richness and alters speciescomposition, but none have quantified the functional impacts of this land-use change.To address this we conducted a systematic literature review of the functional impacts ofconverting forest to oil palm. We focussed on birds, ants and beetles, three functionallyimportant and reasonably well-studied groups. Individual species data from eight datasetswere extracted either from the papers or by contacting authors. Species were classified tofeeding guilds and we analysed these datasets to synthesise changes in species richness andabundance of taxa in relation to feeding guild. Eight data sets were selected, and a total of For further information, please contact: Publications and Meetings, ZSL, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4RY, UK;
  22. 22. SUSTAINABLE PALM OIL: CHALLENGES, A COMMON VISION AND THE WAY FORWARD AN INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM HELD AT ZSL ON 5 AND 6 MAY 2011 ABSTRACTS484 taxa (inc. species for ants and birds and subfamilies for beetles) were used in abundanceanalyses. As expected all taxa in the study decline significantly in abundance and richness inoil palm. However, there was little difference in the sensitivity of different feeding guilds. Thissimilar sensitivity of different feeding guilds could suggest that there is little change infunctioning in oil palm; however, declining individual species abundances could have adverseeffects on functioning. This emphasises the need for further work to measure rates ofecosystem functioning in oil palm and to understand the mechanisms behind speciescontributions to ecosystem functioning in oil palm.Impacts of forest fragmentation on the genetic diversity and population structure ofPachycondyla obscurans in Sabah, Malaysian BorneoN. Tawatao1, Neil E. Harper1, Maryati Mohamed2, Chey V. Khen3, Jeremy B. Searle1,4 & JaneK. Hill11 Department of Biology, University of York, UK; 2Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia, Johor,Malaysia; 3Sabah Forestry Department Forest Research Centre, Sabah, Malaysia;4 Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University, USAEmail: impact of forest fragmentation on genetic diversity of Pachycondyla obscurans, apredatory forest-specialist ant species, was investigated in six forest locations using AmplifiedFragment Length Polymorphism (AFLP) fingerprinting. There was little difference in geneticdiversity between three large forest locations (two locations in continuous forest, plus one120,000 ha fragment) and three small forest fragments (151–320 ha). Populations from twolocations ~60 km apart in continuous forest showed little genetic differentiation, but geneticdifferences between all other locations (35–164 km apart), which are separated by oil palmplantations, were much greater. There was no significant relationship between geographicaldistance and genetic distance (pairwise FST values) between locations. Overall, we concludethat the genetic diversity of P. obscurans has not been affected by habitat fragmentation overthe past 50 years, but locations separated by forest were more genetically similar than thoseseparated by oil palm plantation. This implies that an inhospitable intervening matrix mayprevent ant dispersal, and may result in genetic erosion of insect populations in the longerterm. For further information, please contact: Publications and Meetings, ZSL, Regent’s Park, London NW1 4RY, UK;