SPOP in details

Last update: 14 September 2012

Documents presenting the research program of SPOP, the planned activities and further scientific and technical details.

Position of SPOP

The backbone of the project consists in providing some scientific knowledge which is requested to reinforce the existing initiatives for sustainable palm oil production, such as the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil ( RSPO ), and national standards such as the Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) (Figure 1). Despite its ambitious attempt to provide exhaustive guidelines, the RSPO P&Cs essentially provide a shared framework for the producers who are willing to voluntary commit themselves towards a sustainable palm oil production but not a detailed methodology and control points to actually assess the impacts. Hence decision makers still do not have all the information required to systematically avoid pitfalls or make all appropriate choices.

The SPOP project focuses on the impact of the oil palm cropping systems in order to deeper investigate the specificity of these diverse cropping systems and identify how they are influenced and may adapt to global changes. Based on a review of the state of the art in environmental and social impact assessments of palm oil, impact categories and assessment methodologies will be selected to provide superimposable assessment grids relevant for a 3D impact assessment at the plantation scale (Figure 2). These grids will be notably based on the WAW methodological framework and former research work on agri-environmental indicators. A multi-disciplinary expertise will make it possible to assess both agro-ecological technical aspects and social aspects which encompass both socio-economic indicators on livelihoods of the producer and socio-behaviour indicators that translate the way producers perceive global changes.

The goal of the project is to provide decision support material for oil palm producers. Improved and updated knowledge is not enough though and the transition between knowledge and decision making is often critical. Thus we designed the present SPOP project in the aim of providing models, scenarios and tools for decision making, while applying participatory methods to ensure the suitability of the tools and their adoption by the stakeholders.

In a nutshell

SPOP objectives of the project are: i) to investigate the influence of global changes on the various different oil palm cropping systems, ii) to identify the obstacles, opportunities, and uncertainties for the adaptation of these systems to global constraints, and iii) to elaborate strategies and tools designed to facilitate the transition towards sustainable oil palm cropping systems.

The approach developed in the SPOP Project is: i) to provide new science-based knowledge and tools useful to ensure the sustainability of the systems or to implement new sustainable systems, ii) to involve stakeholders in the innovation process by using specific methods all along the project such as multi-agent modeling, workshops, etc…, iii) to identify obstacles and bottlenecks and analyze whether they are related to some inherent incapacity of oil palm cropping systems to adapt or/and to insufficient efforts in making knowledge and tools accessible to the stakeholders.

SPOP workpackages

Figure 3 presents the connection between the two SPOP workpackages (more details can be found in "Activities&results"):

Work package 1 (WP1): Characterization of the various oil palm cropping systems: agricultural practices and 3D impacts, potential adaptation to global constraints

Work package 2 (WP2): Land use planning and management options as scenarios for adaptation strategies

Figure 4 shows the planned activities and timing.

Last update: 14 September 2012

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