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Oil palm: Landscapes, market chains and investment flows

Over the past decades palm oil has become the first source of vegetable oil in the world. With an annual production of more than 50 million tons it exceeds by far all other vegetable oils. The growth in the sector is mainly due to two Southeast Asian countries, followed by Nigeria, Ghana and Cameroon in Africa, and Colombia, Ecuador and Brazil in South America. The tremendous growth of the palm oil sector was driven by an increasing demand for vegetable oil due to the global population growth, an increase of fat consumption per capita due to better living conditions in quickly developing economies like China and India, and an increasing market share due to more competitive prices.

This proposed Sentinel Landscape consists of a collection of landscapes which are linked to a global market chain and investment flows associated with oil palm development. The main focus will be to assess the socio-ecological transformations in specific landscapes which are influenced by oil palm development.