Stakeholders in the palm oil sector in Cameroon have brainstormed on the importance of adopting environmental and social best practices for the sustainable development of the industry. The roundtable exchange between experts in the sector was recently organised by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the World Wide Fund for Nature, WWF Cameroon Programme office in the South West (SW) region.
At the end of the Limbe workshop, partnership between agro-industry and smallholders for sustainable palm oil development was strengthened while a win-win cooperation strategy between WWF and palm oil producers' union was drawn up. Participants also agreed to adopt best practices in the management of existing plantations and development of new ones.
The workshop also served as a platform for consultation with the palm oil producer's syndicate, representatives of smallholders and new palm oil companies to foster partnership and sensitise palm oil companies to improve their environmental and social management practices and to adopt international standards.
"The production of palm oil is likely to lead to economic development and contribute to poverty reduction in the rural areas. However, the development and creation of oil palm plantations can have potential negative, social and environmental impacts such as the loss of traditional land rights, loss of high conservation value forest and emission of greenhouse gases if they are not well planned and implemented following the best environmental and social international existing standards," says Ludovic Miaro III, Regional Palm Oil Coordinator for WWF Central Africa while situating the context of the workshop. The roundtable workshop brought together agro-industrial giants like CDC, SOCAPALM, PAMOL, SAFACAM. SGSOC, amongst others.