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Oil Palm Adaptive Landscapes

English title Oil Palm Adaptive Landscapes
Applicant Ghazoul Jaboury
Number 177587
Funding scheme r4d (Swiss Programme for Research on Global Issues for Development)
Research institution Ecosystem Management Institute of Terrestrial Ecosystems ETH Zürich
Institution of higher education ETH Zurich - ETHZ
Main discipline Environmental Research
Start/End 01.03.2018 - 31.05.2021
Approved amount 1'487'313.00
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All Disciplines (4)

Discipline
Environmental Research
Other disciplines of Environmental Sciences
Hydrology, Limnology, Glaciology
Sociology

Keywords (5)

Oil Palm; Coupled Social and Environmental Models; Participatory Modelling; Landscape; Impact pathways

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
OPAL erarbeitet alternative Szenarien der Erweiterung von Ölpalmenplantagen und bildet die Grundlage der Entscheidungsfindung für Strategien und Landnutzungsentwicklung in Indonesien, Kolumbien und Kamerun. Die Szenarien werden mit der lokalen Gesellschaft und Palmölunternehmern entwickelt unter Berücksichtigung der sozialen, ökonomischen und ökologischen Treiber. Die Ergebnisse werden gewertet bezüglich der Kompromisse zwischen Biodiversität, der Wasserhaushalt- und Kohlenstoffbindungs- Ökosystemdienstleistung sowie der Sicherung der lokalen Existenzgrundlage.
Lay summary

Die Erweiterung der Anbaufläche von Ölpalmen ist einer der Hauptgründe der Landnutzungsänderung und des Verlusts der Wälder in den Tropen. Dieser Ausbau bietet erhebliche monetäre Gewinne für die Erzeugerländer, Unternehmer und Kleinbauern, birgt jedoch negative Auswirkungen innerhalb und außerhalb der Landschaften, in denen Ölpalmen angebaut werden. Interessensgruppen und Entscheidungsträger müssen "grüne" Entwicklungspfade entwickeln und anwenden um die Balance zwischen Entwicklungs- und Naturschutzziele in einem Umfeld mit tiefgreifenden Unsicherheiten zu gewährleisten. Ein besseres Verständnis der sozioökonomischen und ökologischen Prozesse, die die Umwelt beeinflussen, sowie deren Rückkoppelung mit der Gesellschaft ist wegweisend für eine nachhaltige und integrale Strategie.

Mit unserer Forschung wollen wir in Zusammenarbeit mit Interessensgruppen und Akteuren das Management der Anbaugebiete von  Ölpalmen in Asien, Afrika und Lateinamerika mit plausiblen Entwicklungsszenarien auf verschiedenen Skalen verbessern. Diese Szenarien basieren auf  einem ganzheitlichen Ansatz, der soziale, wirtschaftliche und ökologische Treiber, die den Ölpalmenanbau beeinflussen, kombiniert. Die Ergebnisse der verschiedenen Szenarien werden bezüglich der Kompromisse zwischen der Biodiversität, der Wasserhaushalts- und Kohlenstoffbindungs-Ökosystemdienstleistung sowie der Sicherung der lokalen Existenzgrundlage gewertet.

Unser Konsortium wird von der ETH Zürich geleitet und umfasst internationale Institutionen und lokale Partner in Indonesien, Kamerun und Kolumbien. Darunter sind Vertreter der Palmölfirmen und der lokalen Bevölkerung aller drei Länder. Unser Wissen und der interdisziplinäre Charakter unseres Konsortiums ermöglicht dieses langfristige vergleichende Projekt, das den regionalen Kontext mitberücksichtigt. Unsere Resultate werden relevant sein für die Produzenten und politischen Entscheidungsträger der Produktionsländer sowie für die Konsumenten der Schweiz und weltweit.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 05.03.2018

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
OPAL seeks to explore alternative scenarios for oil palm expansion to inform policy and land use development in Indonesia, Colombia and Cameroon. These scenarios, developed with local communities and oil palm companies, will merge the social, economic, and ecological drivers of oil palm development. We will assess the outcomes of different scenarios with respect to trade-offs among biodiversity, hydrological and carbon sequestration ecosystem services, and local livelihoods.
Lay summary

The expansion of oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) is one of the main drivers of land use change and deforestation in the tropics. This expansion provides significant economic earnings for producer countries, corporations and smallholders, but at the cost of negative externalities within and beyond the landscapes in which oil palm is grown. Stakeholders and decision makers need to devise and adopt ‘green’ development trajectories that balance development and conservation goals in an environment with pervasive uncertainties. A better understanding of the socio-economic and ecological processes that shape environmental outcomes, and of the feedbacks that such outcomes impose on society, will help chart a path towards more sustainable and inclusive futures.

We propose to improve the management of oil palm landscapes across tropical Asia, Africa and Latin America by engaging stakeholders and agents of change with plausible oil palm development scenarios at multiple scales. These scenarios will be developed through an integrated platform that merges the social, economic, and ecological drivers that shape oil palm development. Using such a platform we will assess the outcomes of different scenarios with respect to trade-offs among biodiversity, hydrological and carbon sequestration ecosystem services, and local livelihoods.

Our consortium is led by ETH Zurich and includes international institutions (CIFOR, ICRAF, WWF etc.) and many local partners in Indonesia, Cameroon and Colombia, including representatives of oil palm companies and community interests in all three countries. We draw on the expertise and interdisciplinary nature of our consortium to undertake a long-term comparative project that spans regional contexts. Our outputs will be relevant to producers and policy makers in the target producer countries, and to consumers in Switzerland and Europe more generally.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 05.03.2018

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Perubahan Tutupan Lahan Akibat Ekspansi Perkebunan Kelapa Sawit: Dampak Sosial, Ekonomi dan Ekologi
Amalia Rizka, Dharmawan Arya Hadi, Prasetyo Lilik Budi, Pacheco Pablo (2019), Perubahan Tutupan Lahan Akibat Ekspansi Perkebunan Kelapa Sawit: Dampak Sosial, Ekonomi dan Ekologi, in Jurnal Ilmu Lingkungan, 17(1), 130-130.
Using role-playing to explore strategies for improving palm oil production and sustainability in Cameroon
KamtoMicresse, Halleson Durrel, NgomEmmanuel, Fauvelle Eglantine, SalihovicAlen, GarciaClaude (2019), Using role-playing to explore strategies for improving palm oil production and sustainability in Cameroon, in ETFRN News, 59, 139-146.
Carbon costs and benefits of Indonesian rainforest conversion to plantations
Guillaume Thomas, Kotowska Martyna M., Hertel Dietrich, Knohl Alexander, Krashevska Valentyna, Murtilaksono Kukuh, Scheu Stefan, Kuzyakov Yakov (2018), Carbon costs and benefits of Indonesian rainforest conversion to plantations, in Nature Communications, 9(1), 2388-2388.
Quantifying impacts of oil palm expansion on Colombia's threatened biodiversity
Ocampo-Peñuela Natalia, Garcia-Ulloa John, Ghazoul Jaboury, Etter Andres (2018), Quantifying impacts of oil palm expansion on Colombia's threatened biodiversity, in Biological Conservation, 224, 117-121.
Dry-Season Greening and Water Stress in Amazonia: The Role of Modeling Leaf Phenology
Manoli Gabriele, Ivanov Valeriy Y., Fatichi Simone (2018), Dry-Season Greening and Water Stress in Amazonia: The Role of Modeling Leaf Phenology, in Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 123(6), 1909-1926.
Ecohydrological changes after tropical forest conversion to oil palm
Manoli Gabriele, Meijide Ana, Huth Neil, Knohl Alexander, Kosugi Yoshiko, Burlando Paolo, Ghazoul Jaboury, Fatichi Simone (2018), Ecohydrological changes after tropical forest conversion to oil palm, in Environmental Research Letters, 13(6), 064035-064035.
Beyond palm oil: perceptions of local communities of environmental change
HasanahNur, KomarudinHeru, DrayAnne, GhazoulJaboury, Beyond palm oil: perceptions of local communities of environmental change, in Frontiers in Forests and Global Change.
Drivers of soil carbon stabilization in oil palm plantations
RüeggJohanna, QuezadaJuan Carlos, SantonjaMathieu, GhazoulJaboury, KuzyakoYakov, ButtlerAlexandre, GuillaumeThomas, Drivers of soil carbon stabilization in oil palm plantations, in Land degradation and development.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Agropecuaria Santa Maria, oil palm mill Colombia (South America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) Indonesia (Asia)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel
Hydrology and Water Resources Management (IfU Hydrology) - ETH Zurich Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Union des Exploitant de Palmier a Huile du Cameroun (UNEXPALM) Cameroon (Africa)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Institute of Climate smart agriculture, Thünen Institute Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Exchange of personnel
Luc Hoffmann Institute, WWF Switzerland Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
WWF Cameroon Cameroon (Africa)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Hacienda La Cabaña, palm oil industry Colombia (South America)
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
NES Naturaleza Colombia (South America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Laboratory of Ecological Systems (ECOS), EPFL and WSL Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Center for Agriculture and Rural Development Studies (CARDS), Bogor Agricultural University (IPB) Indonesia (Asia)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
WWF Central Africa Regional Programme Office Cameroon (Africa)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
University of Javariana Colombia (South America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
Applied Ecology and Conservation (AEC) Australia (Oceania)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
WWF Colombia Colombia (South America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
Forest Management and Development (ForDev) - ETH Zurich Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
- Exchange of personnel

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Food security and climate change: 4 per 1000 initiative new tangible global challenges for the soil (Thomas Guillaume) Talk given at a conference Factors controlling SOC stabilization in oil palm plantations 19.06.2019 Poitiers, France Buttler Alexandre;
European Geosciences Union Annual Meeting 2019 Talk given at a conference Disentangling the effect of soil C input and mineralization altered by management on SOC stabilization in oil palm plantations (Thomas Guillaume) 11.04.2019 Vienna, Austria Buttler Alexandre;
21st World Congress of soil science Talk given at a conference Impacts of tropical land-use intensification on soil ecosystem services (Thomas Guillaume) 16.08.2018 Rio, Brazil Buttler Alexandre;
21st World Congress of soil science Poster Long-term dynamics of ecosystem carbon pools in oil palm plantations following pasture conversion 14.08.2018 Rio, Brazil Quezada Rivera Juan Carlos;
LANDac Annual International Conference 2018 Talk given at a conference Oil Palm Expansion: Livelihood Dilemma of The Rural Household in East Kalimantan 28.06.2018 Utrecht, Netherlands Dharmawan Arya Hadi;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
PhD Defense: Expansion of Oil Palm Plantations: Changes in the Agrarian Structure, and Rural Household Livelihood Systems (Bayu Eka Yulian) 25.06.2019 Bogor, Indonesia
Oil Palm Plantation Governance: Changes in Land Cover, Social and Economic Impacts by PhD student Rizka Amalia 14.01.2019 Bogor, Indonesia
OPAL and participatory approaches towards sustainable palm oil 17.12.2018 Bogor, Indonesia
Master Thesis defense: Assessing the Legal; Institutional and Policy Framework for Mainstreaming Sustainability in the Palm Oil Sector in Cameroon 17.11.2018 Yaounde, Cameroon
Silent Expansion and Livelihood Dilemma of Rural Households Around Oil Palm Plantation 20.09.2018 Bogor, Indonesia

Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
Game session during Sustainable Landscape Forum (Lingkar Temu Kabupaten Lestari) Performances, exhibitions (e.g. for education institutions) 17.05.2019 Siak, Riau Province, Indonesia Dharmawan Arya Hadi;
Demonstration of OPAL game with GIZ's Forum on sustainable Palm Oil (FONAP) Workshop 14.05.2019 Berlin, Germany Garcia Ulloa John; Hangartner Ariane;
Jeux et Enjeux Talk 13.05.2019 Marseilles, France Garcia Claude; Giger Dray Anne;
Game session during Sustainable Landscape Forum (Lingkar Temu Kabupaten Lestari) Performances, exhibitions (e.g. for education institutions) 02.05.2019 Sintang, West Kalimantan Province, Indonesia Dharmawan Arya Hadi;
Workshop on strengthening governance of oil palm in East Kalimantan Workshop 27.02.2019 Samarinda, East Kalimantan, Indonesia Dharmawan Arya Hadi;
Sharing experiences of an innovative game (companion modelling) Talk 05.11.2018 Bogor, Indonesia Pacheco Pablo;
Palm Oil Latinamerican conference Workshop 01.09.2018 Cartagena, Colombia Rueda Alejandra;
RSPO Latam Conference Workshop 01.06.2018 Bogota, Colombia Rueda Alejandra;
Asia-Pacific Rainforest Summit 2018 (Heru Komaruding, Dyah Ita Mardiyaninhsih, Rizka Amalia, Faris Rahmadian) Poster 23.04.2018 Yogyakarta, Indonesia Dharmawan Arya Hadi;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
The Future of Oil Palm, ETH Zurich 23.04.2019 Zurich, Switzerland
Workshop on development of low carbon oil palm development in East Kalimantan 09.04.2019 Samarinda, East Kalimantan, Indonesia
Game session: understanding challenges and potential of ISPO certification for smallholders (Bayu Eka Yulian, Heru Komarudin) 28.02.2019 Samarinda, East Kalimantan, Indonesia
Establishment of a stakeholder forum for East Kalimantan sustainable plantations 26.02.2019 Samarinda, East Kalimantan, Indonesia
Workshop: Bioenergy Development, Political Economy, and Palm Oil Based Biodiesel Sustainability 13.09.2018 Bogor, Indonesia
Training/Game session with journalist in Cameroon 12.09.2018 Yaounde, Cameroon
Game session in Palembang, Indonesia (Heru Komarudin, Bayu Eka Yulian) 24.07.2018 Palembang, Indonesia
Second game session in Hacienda la Cabaña (Alejandra Rueda, NES Naturaleza) 01.07.2018 Bogota, Colombia

Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Video/Film A Palm Oil Game (link available soon) International 2019
Media relations: print media, online media Article in Indonesian Bahasa on the workshop with the Embassy Ekonomi newspaper International 2019
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Claude Garcia - How choose your future and communicate your aims Podcast career conversations International 2019
Media relations: print media, online media New insights into oil palm impacts through role playing Tropenbos International International 2019
Talks/events/exhibitions Palmöl - Besser als sein Ruf? (Presentation at "Ohne" Shop, Baden) German-speaking Switzerland 2019
Talks/events/exhibitions Palmöl - Besser als sein Ruf? (Vorlsesung ETH Treffpunkt Science City) International German-speaking Switzerland 2019
Media relations: radio, television Palmölanbau als Brettspiel (Berlin) Deutschlandfunk Nova International German-speaking Switzerland 2019
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Un jeu pour améliorer la durabilité de lhuile de palme Radio Suisse Romande International Western Switzerland 2019
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) As Colombia expands its palm oil sector, scientists worry about wildlife Mongabay International 2018
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Companion Modelling for natural resource management with Claude Garcia Games 4 sustainability International 2018
Media relations: radio, television Les effets de la culture des palmiers à huile sur l’écosystème RSR. CQFD Western Switzerland 2018
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) OPAL Newsletter n°8 International 2018
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) OPAL Newsletter n°9 International 2018
Other activities Palm oil sector analysis 2017 International 2018
Media relations: print media, online media Palmöl hat eine Zukunft Tierwelt.ch International German-speaking Switzerland 2018
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Q+A: CIFOR landscape games feature at Indonesia’s Sustainable Districts Festival Landscape News: https://news.globallandscapesforum.org International 2018
Other activities Report on the game sessions done with Hacienda La cabaña International 2018
Media relations: print media, online media Subsitutes may make matters worse ETH News, Tagesanzeiger International 2018
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Wearing Borneo's farmers shoes through a role-playing game ETH Ambassadors Blog International 2018
New media (web, blogs, podcasts, news feeds etc.) Webinar: Adaptive landscape approaches using role-playing games GLP International 2018

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
152019 Oil Palm Adaptive Landscapes 01.03.2015 r4d (Swiss Programme for Research on Global Issues for Development)

Abstract

The expansion of oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) is one of the main drivers of land use change and deforestation in the tropics. This expansion provides significant economic earnings for producer countries, corporations and smallholders, but at the cost of negative externalities within and beyond the landscapes in which oil palm is grown. Stakeholders and decision makers need to devise and adopt ‘green’ development trajectories that balance better development and conservation goals in an environment with pervasive uncertainties. A better understanding of socio-economic and ecological processes that shape environmental outcomes and the feedbacks that such outcomes impose on society will help chart a path towards more sustainable and inclusive futures.We propose that (1) integrated models of future landscapes and the delivery of ecosystem services over a decadal time span, (2) informed by multiple stakeholder perspectives and developed through participatory modeling approaches and (3) embedded in the decision making processes at different levels, encompassing interrelated district, national and international scales, can improve the resilience of a socio-ecological system (SES) and help local stakeholders navigate and explore possible alternative futures and make more informed decisions. We draw on the expertise and interdisciplinary nature of our consortium, and our collective presence in several countries, to undertake a long-term comparative project that spans regional contexts, in Colombia, Cameroon and Indonesia. The novelty of this proposal lies in designing an integrative simulation platform based on extensive empirical data that effectively couples social and ecological dynamics. This platform can facilitate the establishment of a common worldview among stakeholders and will serve as the basis for better decision making, in which the trade-offs involving ecosystem services, alternative development pathways, and management options are carefully considered in natural landscapes facing oil palm expansion.
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