Filling knowledge gaps for sustainable oil palm agriculture

Published on
December 17, 2013

Today a new Research-Policy Partnership Network on sustainable palm oil will be launched in Singapore. This Partnership Network is part of the recently launched Socially and Environmentally Sustainable Oil palm Research (SEnSOR) project, designed to fill key knowledge gaps in developing sustainability in oil palm agriculture.

In the SEnSOR project, a team of international scientists including researchers from Alterra, PRI, LEI and Wageningen University will work together to improve agricultural production, environmental and social responsibility, and new plantings of palm oil production. “One important outcome of the SEnSOR project will be to improve the existing scientific evidence base of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, to ensure that the principles and criteria of this initiative are effective”, says Peter van der Meer, who is involved in this project on behalf of Alterra.

Scientific evidence for the advancement of sustainable practices in oil palm agriculture continues to increase rapidly. However, the lack of interaction and exchange of this knowledge between scientists and policy developers inhibits effective uptake of scientific evidence into policy. The Research-Policy Partnership Network has been designed in recognition of the urgent need to improve communication between scientists and users of scientific information and to develop better mechanisms for scientific evidence to be delivered to policy makers in a useable format. Peter van der Meer: “We want to create new channels for communication between scientists and policy makers and ensure that science findings are delivered in a useable form for guiding policy development.”

During today’s meeting the new SEnSOR website will be launched as well.