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A collaborative partnership between RSPO oil palm grower member United Plantations Berhad (UP) and their project partner Copenhagen Zoo is demonstrating that palm oil and the environment can co-exist in harmony. The project, which was considered controversial when initiated in 2010, is now going from strength to strength.
Positive impacts of the programme
A new approach to conservation and agriculture
Dr. Traeholt confirmed it is sometimes possible to off-take rescue centre individuals by enriching habitat to sustain larger populations. The scheme also recommends reintroduction into areas where the species has been eradicated. “This approach could be used for other species as well,” he added. To provide additional context to his presentation and findings, Dr Traeholt shared a historical timeline of the world’s human population, its subsequent increase, and how this has impacted global food demand. He concluded that an increasing amount of land must be devoted to agriculture in order to sustain the population. To avoid more land grabbing, he sees yield improvement as one of the key challenges facing agriculture in general, and the palm oil sector in particular.
International oil palm and the UP partnership: breaking down the numbers
Also in attendance was Muhammad Silmi, who is the Manager of UP Group’s Biodiversity Division, comprising a 14-person team, to which Dr. Traeholt acts as an advisor. Mr. Silmi highlighted some of the key activities and milestones from the UP/Copenhagen Zoo partnership, including:
UP Group takes action against CO2 emissions and climate change
Bengt Holst, the Scientific Director of Copenhagen Zoo, brought the morning’s session to a close. He remarked how proud he was of the partnership with UP and noted that it has become an important part of the zoo’s operations. Most importantly, he highlighted the ways in which this innovative partnership demonstrates how people from diverse backgrounds, industries and sectors can cooperate to achieve a common goal.
The memorandum of understanding (MoU) between UP and Copenhagen Zoo was established in 2010 for a 5-year period and was renewed for another 5 years in 2016.