Two of SEnSOR’s Science-for-Policy papers have been used to inform the development of a new methodology for conserving High Carbon Stock Forest in oil palm plantation land use planning. The set of final reports for the High Carbon Stocks study, have been released, detailing procedures for identifying and conserving High Carbon Stock forest, integrated with social, economic and other environmental concerns. The study was commissioned by the Sustainable Palm Oil Manifesto Group: a group of some of the largest producers and users of palm oil globally, to develop a new methodology which goes beyond current sustainability standards. An independent academic technical committee put together the reports which synthesise the scientific literature to inform the development of the methodology. SEnSOR’s science-for-policy papers on “Co-benefits for biodiversity and carbon in land planning decisions within oil palm landscapes” and “Change in carbon stocks arising from land-use conversion to oil palm plantations” were drawn on as key syntheses of the relevant research. With buy in from key players in the industry, we hope that this new methodology will lead to improved sustainability standards which better conserve tropical forest and the carbon, biodiversity and other vital ecosystem service benefits they provide.
SEnSOR Science Impact Coordinator and NERC knowledge exchange fellow Dr Jen Lucey, was lead author of both science-for-policy papers, with funding from NERC, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the RSPO. Dr Lucey is based at the University of York, UK.