The Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) is a nonprofit, global research organization dedicated to advancing human well-being, environmental conservation and equity.
We conduct research that enables more informed and equitable decision making about the use and management of tropical and sub-tropical forest landscapes. We help policy makers and practitioners shape effective policy, improve the management of tropical forests and address the needs and perspectives of people who depend on forests for their livelihoods. Our multidisciplinary approach considers the underlying drivers of deforestation and degradation which often lie outside the forestry sector: forces such as agriculture, infrastructure development, trade and investment policies and law enforcement.
Senior Research Officer
The deforestation-free movement has emerged recently in the context of less State control, pressure on corporations for not conforming to social and environmental standards and the growing recognition of the role that agricultural commodities play in deforestation. The movement is particularly relevant to the oil palm sector in Indonesia as a total of 188 companies in Indonesia’s oil palm sector – the world’s largest – have made some form of sustainability commitment, including 61 that have pledged to source supplies only from plantations that are not linked to deforestation. The movement is in its early stages and significant challenges must be overcome before it can fully realize its potential. One such concern is that these commitments will eventually prevent smallholders from accessing land and/or fragmented markets if enabling conditions for smallholders to profit from these commitments are not already in place. Furthermore, women’s rights and livelihoods as workers, smallholders and local communities are often ignored in policy debates surrounding these movements as well as concerns over smallholder inclusion.
This position will be a part of a dynamic and multidisciplinary research team within CIFOR dedicated to better understanding smallholder oil palm production systems, the potential ramifications of these pledges on smallholders and identifying the governance arrangements and smallholder integration models that are best suited to ensure that these pledges are both socially and environmentally inclusive. The major objective of the position is to contribute to the broader research objective whilst ensuring that a gender perspective is strongly embedded in this research.