Coproducing a research agenda for sustainable palm oil

Rory Padfield, and Sune Hansen, and Zoe G. Davies, and Albrecht Ehrensperger, and Eleanor M. Slade, and Stephanie Evers, and Effie Papargyropoulou, and Cécile Bessou, and Norhayati Abdullah, and Susan Page, and Marc Ancrenaz, and Paul Aplin, and Shahirah Balqis Dzulkafli, and Holly Barclay, and Darshanaa Chellaiah, and Sonal Choudhary, and Samantha Conway, and Sarah Cook, and Alison Copeland, and Ahimsa Campos-Arceiz, and Nicolas J. Deere, and Simon Drew, and David Gilvear, and Ross Gray, and Tobias Haller, and Amelia S-C. Hood, and Lee Kim Huat, and Nhat Huynh, and Nagulendran Kangayatkarasu, and Lian Pin Koh, and Sanath Kumaran Kolandai, and Robin Ah Hee Lim, and Kok Loong Yeong, and Jennifer M. Lucey, and Sarah H. Luke, and Simon L. Mitchell, and Marvin J. Montefrio, and Katherine Mullin, and Anand Nainar, and K. Anne-Isola Nekaris, and Vincent Nijman, and Matheus Nunes, and Siti Nurhidayu, and Patrick O’Reilly, and Chong Leong Puan, and Nadine Ruppert, and Hengky Salim, and Greetje Schouten, and Anne Tallontire, and Thomas E. L. Smith, and Hsiao-Hang Tao, and Mun Hou Tham, and Helena Varkkey, and Jamie Wadey, and Catherine M. Yule, and Badrul Azhar, and Alexander K. Sayok, and Charles Santhanaraju Vairappan, and Jake E. Bicknell, and Matthew J. Struebig, (2019) Coproducing a research agenda for sustainable palm oil. Frontiers in Forests and Global Change, 2 (13). pp. 1-17.

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The rise of palm oil as the world's most consumed vegetable oil has coincided with exponential growth in palm oil research activity. Bibliometric analysis of research outputs reveals a distinct imbalance in the type of research being undertaken, notably a disproportionate focus on biofuel and engineering topics. Recognizing the expansion of oil palm agriculture across the tropics and the increasing awareness of environmental, social, and economic impacts, we seek to reorientate the existing research agenda toward one that addresses the most fundamental and urgent questions defined by the palm oil stakeholder community. Following consultation with 659 stakeholders from 38 countries, including palm oil growers, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and researchers, the highest priority research questions were identified within 13 themes. The resulting 279 questions, including 26 ranked as top priority, reveal a diversity of environmental and social research challenges facing the industry, ranging from the ecological and ecosystem impacts of production, to the livelihoods of plantation workers and smallholder communities. Analysis of the knowledge type produced from these questions underscores a clear need for fundamental science programmes, and studies that involve the consultation of non-academic stakeholders to develop “transformative” solutions to the oil palm sector. Stakeholders were most aligned in their choice of priority questions across the themes of policy and certification related themes, and differed the most in environmental feedback, technology and smallholder related themes. Our recommendations include improved regional academic leadership and coordination, greater engagement with private and public stakeholders in Africa, and Central and South America, and enhanced collaborative efforts with researchers in the major consuming countries of India and China.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: research priority setting, oil palm (Elaeis guineensis), agriculture, certification, policy, stakeholder engagement, transdisciplinary
Subjects: S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
S Agriculture > SB Plant culture
Divisions: SCHOOL > Institute for Tropical Biology and Conservation
Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2020 23:31
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2020 23:31

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