What’s Next for Transforming the Palm Oil Sector: More of the Same or Better Embedded?

  • Johan VerburgEmail author
Part of the Natural Resource Management in Transition book series (NRMT, volume 2)


At a time when I had only been engaged in the palm oil sector for a few years and had supported the establishment of criteria and certification rules for the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), I thought I could check out any time I liked and move on to a next commodity sector. It was 2007 and I couldn’t have been more wrong; more than ten years later, I feel I can never leave. The involvement of an international social/development perspective in the palm oil sector remains highly needed, despite significant progress made through the voluntary standards approach, which is reaching a fragile but critical mass in the sector. This chapter will argue that in order to achieve positive impacts for both people and sustainable development, there is a need for continued efforts and for better embedding market transformation in wider sector changes and landscapes. There are exciting and encouraging new developments, for example, the financial sector providing an extra push and governments actually taking up their responsibilities.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Oxfam NovibThe HagueNetherlands

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