Programme Structure

The programme will run over five years, and will comprise field surveys, manipulation experiments, laboratory work, computer modelling, and statistical analyses. Research will be conducted by teams of post doctoral researchers, graduate students, and research technicians, overseen by a team of leading international scientists, collaborating with SE Asian academics and research students. The programme will capitalise on other ongoing research programmes including the ‘Stability of Altered Forest Ecosystems’ (SAFE) project, the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) ‘Sustainable Palm Oil Platform‘, the UK Government Research Council (NERC) ‘Human-modified Tropical Forests Programme’, and the ‘Towards Environmentally Sustainable and Equitable Palm Oil’ social research programme run by Wageningen University, as well as the ongoing Royal Society SEARRP projects. These links will enable SEnSOR to facilitate knowledge sharing, resulting in considerable added-value.

Main research sites will be set up in Malaysia and Indonesia, with fully integrated research projects providing added-value from comparative information. SEnSOR will capitalise on infrastructure, expertise and facilities available via the Royal Society SEARRP and projects under its management.

Research Structure

Topic Areas

The programme is divided into five Topic Areas (TAs): 1) Soil and Water, 2) Greenhouse Gases and Air Quality, 3) Biodiversity, 4) Participatory Processes and Rights, and 5) Livelihoods. The research in each TA will be coordinated by a leading academic scientist, who will provide the appropriate skills and high-level of expertise to deliver results within the time-frame of the programme.

Key themes

The cross-cutting Key Themes (KTs) integrate and link Topic Areas, providing a multi-disciplinary approach, and delivering evidence and recommendations that will satisfy social and environmental criteria.  KTs will be co-ordinated by the SEnSOR steering committee, and will provide a strong focus to the research programme, creating common goals for scientists in each of the Topic Areas. The Key Themes are: 1) The HCV process, 2) Agricultural Best Practice and 3) Cost- Benefit Analysis.

Special Focus

In addition to the Key Themes, some of the Topic Areas have a Special Focus. These represent critical Topic-specific knowledge gaps where research findings are particularly urgently required.