Special Edition: International Palm Oil Sustainability Conference 2012 Abstracts
Journal of Oil Palm & The Environment 2012

This presentation deals with sustainability, fair play and free trade and what this means for the development of a sustainable palm oil sector in Malaysia. Special attention will be given to ‘partnerships for sustainable development’ and whether they have reached their goals and contributed to sustainable development of the palm oil sectors in Malaysia. The concepts of efficiency and effectiveness will be used to assess to the actual dynamism of the partnership process. The contribution is based on research undertaken in the framework of a comparative review of a public-private partnership programme implemented by the Dutch and Malaysian governments with the private sector in both countries since 2005 to address bottlenecks in the export-oriented palm oil, shrimp and fruits and vegetables sector in Malaysia. The tool of partnerships was used to build local capacity and thereby improve access to the European market. It will be shown that Malaysia has made great progress, but is still facing trade barriers for the export of its palm oil (which will be analyzed), whether produced in more sustainable way or not. The review demonstrated different degrees of upgrading of the export-oriented activities in the respective partnerships; of capacity built up to facilitate policy reforms and to deal with sustainability issues; and of spin-off of the partners in terms of the resulting social and economic development. Important factors that affect the effectiveness of partnerships are the governance mechanisms put in place (including the level of ownership, the level of transparency, the vertical and horizontal accountability), the situational context of the partnerships, the existence of an enabling environment for public-private collaboration and sector specific characteristics.
10 September, 2012
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