After technical and scientific studies on the impact of sustainable palm oil, researchers spotlight the fact that we need academic multidisciplinary approach to enhance a better comprehension and execution of this initiative which stay like a challenge for growers, company and population in production area.
Multidisciplinary is important to achieve sustainability of palm oil.
The current debate on palm oil tends to be driven to a large extend by set agendas and sentiments, rather than by purely scientific facts. The large pool of palm oil data encourages stakeholders to fill in the blanks with the assumptions which strengthen their respective arguments.
It seems to be the norm, that campaigns for or against palm oil, as well as sustainability related academic palm oil research, focus on narrow topics rather than holistic sustainability assessments and solutions. This skews the debate and the public opinion towards single issues which may be important, but which do not tell the full story. Any efforts to tackle such single issues have a high risk of resulting in the negligence of other important but less publicized issues. This could lead to problem shifting, where solving one problem leads to the creation of other problems elsewhere in the palm oil production chain, in other environmental impact categories, or finally within other pillars of sustainability. “Academia has a vital role to play by producing independent research that feeds into the decision-making process”
It must also be highlighted that the sole development of more sustainable technologies and methods is seldom enough. Such development must be complimented by sustainability assessments, policy development and capacity building in the industry and governing bodies. Only then will these developments effectively drive the change towards sustainable palm oil. Furthermore, this should not only be done in a few pioneering palm oil producing countries, but in the palm oil industry as a whole.
Read more at betterpalmoildebate.org