About us

The OPAL project, funded through the SNF-r4d programme, has been running from March 2015 until May 2021.


Oil palm cultivation is a principal driver of tropical land-use change and deforestation. Oil palm provides significant earnings for countries, corporations and smallholders, but often at great environmental and social costs within and beyond the landscapes where it is grown.

Project’s purpose

The overall vision of the OPAL project was to improve the management of oil palm landscapes across Asia, Africa and Latin America. We concentrated our work in the three countries that were part of the project: Indonesia, Cameroon and Colombia. All three countries are producing palm oil, but in different contexts.


Through participatory approaches, we engaged with stakeholders at regional, national, and local levels and developed together future scenarios of oil palm development. More precisely we developed role-playing games that merge the social, economic, and ecological drivers shaping oil palm development. Stakeholders (such as farmers, environmental NGOs, policy decision makers,…) have been playing those games with us. Through playing they were able to recognize the complexities and the different perspectives. They realized the need to look for shared solutions.

The OPAL Project is funded by:
Project Consortium:

Oil Palm Adaptive Landscapes (OPAL)
c/o Prof. Jaboury Ghazoul
Chair of Ecosystem Management
Department of Environmental System Sciences
ETH Zurich
Universit├Ątstrasse 16
8092 Z├╝rich

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