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Proforest organises symposium on sustainable palm oil

Together with the Zoological Society London and and the Wildlife Conservation Society, Proforest organises the two-day symposium "Sustainable palm oil: challenges, a common vision and the way forward" on 5 and 6 May 2011 in London.

Escalating global demand for palm oil continues to drive rapid expansion of oil palm monocultures across the tropics. Whilst business is booming for the palm oil industry, providing a major source of employment and foreign exchange for producing nations, success is tainted by the extensive damage being inflicted on some of the richest ecosystems on earth.

This creates a complex challenge for biodiversity conservation. Insatiable demand for vegetable oil combined with high yields and profitability mean that oil palm expansion is set to continue, yet the predicted scale of expansion makes it a strong contender for the single greatest threat to biodiversity on the planet. How can these socio-economic and environmental goals be reconciled?

The focus of this symposium will be to define a common vision for integrating environmental and socio-economic goals for more sustainable palm oil production and to identify and catalyse the stakeholder actions necessary to achieve this. As a first step, key scientists, policy makers, NGOs and private sector representatives will review the science and practicalities of reconciling continued global oil palm expansion with biodiversity conservation and the maintenance of ecosystem functions. The second step will be to explore the processes, decisions and conditions necessary to make this common vision a reality, highlighting the roles of investors, policymakers, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, palm oil producers, retailers and NGOs.

Organised by Sarah Christie (ZSL), Helen Crowley (WCS), Matthew Hatchwell (WCS), Ruth Nussbaum (ProForest) and Sophie Persey (ZSL). With support from Biodiversity & Agricultural Commodities Programme and Wilmar International.


  • Dates: Thursday 5 and Friday 6 May 2011
  • Location: Meeting Rooms, Zoological Society of London, Regent’s Park (Outer Circle), London NW1 4RY, UK (download map)
  • Provisional programme: download it here

Registration fees

  • Full rate: two days or part days £130; one day or part day £80.
  • Student/ZSL Friends and Fellows rate: two days or part days £65; one day or part day £40. Lunch and refreshments are included in the registration fee and a three-course dinner with the speakers will be held on the Thursday evening; places at the dinner will cost an additional £40 per person.
  • Please note that the registration deadline is 20 April 2011. Bookings received after this date will incur an additional £10 charge.
  • Download the registration form
  • Register single participant online (ZSL website)
  • Register multiple pariticipants online (ZSL website)

More information


Published 07.03.2011