Track: Organized Oral Session
Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, IL, USA
Oil palm is a widely farmed tropical crop that is grown to produce palm oil: the most traded vegetable oil worldwide. The expansion of oil palm agriculture has caused substantial declines in biodiversity and shifts in ecosystem functioning across the tropics. Additionally, as its growth affects the jobs and income of millions of people, oil palm agriculture has important socioeconomic effects within producing regions. Assessing the impacts of oil palm agriculture on tropical systems, and advocating for a more sustainable global palm oil industry both ecologically and socially, requires an interdisciplinary socioecological approach. In this session, we share case studies of large-scale collaborative research that is occurring between international academics and the palm oil industry, in order to provide an overview of the socioecological impacts of oil palm agriculture and to identify possible strategies to increase sustainability of the palm oil industry. The session includes projects based in all three major regions of palm oil production: Southeast Asia, West/Central Africa, and Central/South America. Collectively, we recommend the establishment of further collaborations between academia and the palm oil industry to develop a more sustainable global palm oil industry, with implications for increasing global food security, economic livelihoods, and conservation of tropical ecosystems.
Presenting Author: Raymond Ndip Nkongho – Faculty of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, University of Buea
Presenting Author: Delphine Clara Zemp – Faculty of Forest Sciences and Forest Ecology, University of Göttingen
Presenting Author: Natalia Ocampo-Peñuela – University of California Santa Cruz
Presenting Author: Caroline Ward – Leverhulme Centre for Anthropocene Biodiversity, University of York
Presenting Author: Michael Pashkevich – Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge