Enhancing Biodiversity Conservation by Engaging the Oil Palm Plantation Industry


Biodiversity Conservation on Oil Palm Plantations: Challenges

What does biodiversity conservation mean for an industrial plantation? Wild Asia has been unravelling the issues behind this question and have developed a number of approaches to guide, educate and motivate the oil palm plantation industry. This talk shares a number of these approaches and highlights some of the key lessons learnt. As a social enterprise, Wild Asia, has been free to engage the industry and has gained a unique perspective by having direct interactions with the people on the ground.

Much of the Malaysia’s oil palm plantations are located in Sabah where wildlife endemic to Borneo such as the orang utans,  proboscis monkeys and  Borneo Pygmy elephants, are  found.

Wild Asia’s Biodiversity Specialist Dave Blackwell was invited to present a paper at the recently held SWCC 2012 event. His paper was entitled “Enhancing Biodiversity Conservation by Engaging the Oil Palm Plantation Industry”. 

Paper Abstract

  • There’s great potential in conservationists working together WITH those within the industry.
  • During the early days of engagement with oil palm companies, it became clear that, while there is a desire to make changes that would benefit biodiversity, there is a lack of know-how about how this could be achieved.
  • There is increasing pressure on managers ‘from above’ and ‘from outside’ to meet new standards in relation to the environment, but on the other, there is very little practical guidance as to how this was to be achieved, or on what basis decisions should be made.
  • It is important to understand  the constraints managers work under, about what is and isn’t practical and feasible.
  • Over the years, Wild Asia have come to understand the needs and issues more clearly and developed a series of resources designed to help managers on the ground.
  • “Learning by doing” is one of Wild Asia’s  key learning approaches

About the SWCC

The 2012 Sabah Wildlife Conservation Colloquium (SWCC), jointly organized by the Sabah Wildlife Department and the Malaysian Palm Oil Council, was held on the 9-10th of January in Kota Kinabalu , Sabah, Malaysia. The main aim of the colloquium was to address wildlife issues in Malaysia with emphasis on Sabah, highlight conservation efforts and studies and to share their findings and exchange constructive opinions with their peers and concerned stakeholders. Focus was also placed on conservation efforts undertaken for endangered species in Borneo. The SWCC provided an excellent opportunity for NGOs and social groups to highlight their founded concerns and propose constructive recommendations and guidelines to achieve a sustainable way forward in balancing development with conservation.

Download the Presentation

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Enhancing Biodiversity Conservation by Engaging the Palm Oil Plantation Industry (2012) (342 downloads )

To download more presentations from the colloquium, visit SWCC 2012 – Presentation Download