Palm oil has become one of the world’s fastest growing and most valuable agricultural commodities. This rapid expansion has come at a large environmental cost, in the form of tropical deforestation, biodiversity loss and rising greenhouse gas emissions. Large multinational companies dominate the sector, but smallholder farmers still account for around 40 percent of global production and contribute significantly to environmental damages. As multinationals increasingly adopt "zero net deforestation" strategies and move away from tropical forest burning, can they pull smallholders along with them? Join the principal researchers as they discuss progress in their efforts to achieve a balance between environmental objectives and poverty alleviation through public and private sector interventions in Indonesia and West Africa.
This project, led by a multidisciplinary team of researchers, aims to drive operational innovation in the palm oil sector and promote an integrated development-environment policy agenda. The researchers will discuss preliminary results from their first round of field visits and data collection, along with the impact this research will have on broader scholarship.