In Print and Online

Category: Agriculture


Title: Palms of controversies: Oil palm and development challenges

Authors: Alain Rival and Patrice Levang

Organization: Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR), Indonesia

Date: 2014

Language: English, Spanish

Number of Pages: 69

Eco-Index Summary: Oil palm is one of the world's most controversial crops, accused of causing the deforestation of large areas of forest and threatening animal species. The authors of this report say that the entire palm cultivation sector has become a symbol of the conflict between the conservation of natural areas and development. Media, politicians, civil society groups, and many NGOs, say the authors, are dedicated to attacking this crop negatively, thus damaging producing countries. This report aims to provide the necessary information on oil palm to give readers a balanced view of the conflict. It provides a brief reference on the global consumption of vegetable oils and oil palm production, a description of the strengths and weaknesses of its production and consumption, and an analysis of the contribution of the crop for local economies. A discussion then follows on achieving a sustainable oil palm production model and the options that currently exist for entrepreneurs, governments, academia, communities, and other stakeholders to unite and promote the responsible development of the sector.


Title: Common Ground, Common Future: How Eco-Agriculture Can Help Feed the World

Authors: Jeffrey A. McNeely and Sara J. Scherr

Organizations: Future Harvest and World Conservation Union (IUCN)

Date: May 2001

Language: English

Number of Pages: 27, with Maps and Footnotes

Eco-Index Summary: This report recognizes that unsustainable practices of many current agricultural methods threatens global biodiversity and notes that agricultural production in many rural regions, home to a significant variety of flora and fauna, as well as people, will need to continue supplying food for a growing population. The study concludes that integrating science and policy can result both in productive agriculture and effective conservation. The authors offer six strategies that aim to conserve natural habitat and resources, produce adequate amounts of food, and provide sufficient income to farmers. Each strategy is illustrated with case studies, several of them from Central America.