Discussion Meeting - Biodiversity and Oil Palm: integrating science and policy
8 Apr 2008 – 6:00 pm - 7:45 pm
10% of supermarket goods already contain palm oil; however, the growth of the oil palm industry may be harming our tropical rainforests and their abundant wildlife. Conservationists and industry representatives will discuss the issues surrounding our increased demand for oil palm at this meeting.
Palm oil is one of the most important vegetable oils in the world today. It is already present in ten percent of supermarket goods with demand still rising as the Asian markets grow and Europe looks to biofuels to mitigate concerns over carbon emissions and rising crude oil prices. Palm oil production makes significant contributions to the economies of developing nations, employing thousands in rural areas.
But oil palm is a tropical crop and grows best in the exact same areas as the world’s tropical forests. Land conversion for plantations drives deforestation and few species can survive in the resulting oil palm monoculture. As a consequence, expansion has led to increasing conflict between the demands of development and the conservation of some of the world's most biodiverse ecosystems and charismatic species.
The economic value of palm oil ensures it is here to stay, but the crisis threatening biodiversity and the environment demands immediate action. Guidelines have been produced on producing ‘sustainable’ palm oil. But recommendations concerning biodiversity impacts are vague and difficult to implement. Solutions require dialogue, and it is with this in mind that this meeting is convening representatives from Asian industry and government, conservation and science to discuss:
• How is biodiversity impacted by oil palm?
• What are the issues for industry in mitigating impacts on biodiversity?
• How can stakeholders work together to minimise conflict?
Organised by Dr Tom Maddox, Emily Fitzherbert and Sarah Christie, ZSL
Ben Phalan - Conservation Science Group, Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge;
Bryan Dyer - Managing Director Operations, London Sumatra Indonesia; and
Dr Tom Maddox - Zoological Society of London
We regret that it is now unlikely the Governor of Jambi Province will be able to attend this Discussion Meeting.
Please note that this event was part of the 2007-08 Scientific Meetings programme
The talks are free and open to the public (no advance booking or registration required). Talks will begin at 6.00pm; doors open at 5.00pm and seats will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. A dinner with the speakers will follow this Scientific Meeting and places must be booked in advance. A dinner booking form will be available from March for further information.
Further Information: please contact Joy Hayward, Scientific Meetings Coordinator, Zoological Society of London, Regents Park, London NW1 4RY.
Tel:+44 (0)20 7449 6227. Fax: +44 (0)20 7449 6411. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.