SEnSOR talk at the European Conference of Tropical Ecology in Gottingen, Germany February 23-26th 2016

Dr. Jennifer Lucey from the Socially and Environmentally Sustainable Oil palm Research (SEnSOR) programme attended the European Conference of Tropical Ecology last week to give a talk entitled: How can we maximise biodiversity and ecosystem services in oil palm landscapes? Providing the scientific evidence base to aid better policy-making. Dr. Lucey used the opportunity of speaking at the conference to introduce the SEnSOR programme’s aim to test and improve sustainability standards in oil palm agriculture through policy-relevant scientific research. She highlighted that the industry is currently grappling with how to maximise biodiversity and ecosystem services in the landscape while also balancing the demand for increasing palm oil production. She presented ways that SEnSOR has worked to aid more effective policy on this issue by synthesising new and published data on biodiversity and ecosystem services in the oil palm growing regions of Malaysia and Indonesia. This information is then used to determine how well fragmented forests support biodiversity and ecosystem services in comparison to continuous forest, and whether the land-uses that are important for biodiversity are the same land-uses that are important for carbon storage, a vital ecosystem service for reducing climate change impacts. Based on this research and the results from the study, the SEnSOR programme will aim to provide recommendations for suitable forest patch size and priority areas for biodiversity and carbon conservation.

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