|Thursday, 14 April 2011 09:09|
We have two upcoming science and conservation events at ZSL, the first of which is our May symposium - 'Sustainable palm oil: challenges, a common vision and the way forward'.
5 and 6 May 2011, 9am-6pm - Sustainable palm oil: challenges, a common vision and the way forward - a two-day ZSL symposium.
Escalating global demand for palm oil continues to drive rapid expansion of oil palm monocultures across the tropics. Whilst business is booming for the palm oil industry, providing a major source of employment and foreign exchange for producing nations, success is tainted by the extensive damage being inflicted on some of the richest ecosystems on earth.
This creates a complex challenge for biodiversity conservation. Insatiable demand for vegetable oil combined with high yields and profitability mean that oil palm expansion is set to continue, yet the predicted scale of expansion makes it a strong contender for the single greatest threat to biodiversity on the planet. How can these socio-economic and environmental goals be reconciled?
The focus of this symposium will be to define a common vision for integrating environmental and socio-economic goals for more sustainable palm oil production and to identify and catalyse the stakeholder actions necessary to achieve this. As a first step, key scientists, policy makers, NGOs and private sector representatives will review the science and practicalities of reconciling continued global oil palm expansion with biodiversity conservation and the maintenance of ecosystem functions. The second step will be to explore the processes, decisions and conditions necessary to make this common vision a reality, highlighting the roles of investors, policymakers, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, palm oil producers, retailers and NGOs.
Organised by Sarah Christie (ZSL), Helen Crowley (WCS), Matthew Hatchwell (WCS), Ruth Nussbaum (ProForest) and Sophie Persey (ZSL).
Through this work, we will explore the private lives and behaviours of others, but unlike the TV series, our focus will be on rare and elusive animals in terrestrial and aquatic environments in remote parts of the world. The talks will explore new ways cameras can be used to understand behaviour in the wild and predict future responses to our changing world.
Roland Kays, Curator of Mammals, New York State Museum, NY, USA
Organised by Chris Carbone and Marcus Rowcliffe (Institute of Zoology, ZSL)