EPFL publication attracts media attention

« Turning an abandoned pasture into a palm tree plantation can be carbon neutral ». OPAL PhD student Juan Carlos Que-zada published in Sciences Advances his findings from the study in Colombia. The media coverage was broad and the re-actions (from the public) sometimes quite critical. Quezada, J.C., Etter, A., Ghazoul, J., Buttler, A., and […]


New game on ISPO certification raises awareness of certification challenges

In August 2019, the Indonesian Team played its new ISPO game with officials from the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Indonesia. In the game, the officials played the role of smallholders or of the government. Very soon, the smallholders started complaining to the government about the ISPO certification (Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil). They […]


Changing tides: Key players play games in Colombia to understand riverside dynamics

Government representatives, citizens, NGOs and producers from the eastern planes of Colombia are using a board game to explore the challenges faced by Cravo Sur river. ‘La Cuenca’ is a board game developed by masters students from ETH Zürich. Game participants play the role of producers along a river. Livestock, rice and oil palm are […]


OPAL results in Colombia presented at global conferences

NES Naturaleza has been spreading the word around OPAL at different international conferences, like the ISCC Annual Sustainability Conference in Brussels (February 2019), the International Conference on Biofuels in Colombia (March 2019), and the Globoil International Conference in Dubai (April 2019). NES Naturaleza has been running games sessions with smallholders who supply Fresh Fruit Bunches to […]


Journalist training in Cameroon

To help journalists in Cameroon gain a better understanding of the country’s palm oil value chain, OPAL’s Cameroon team organized a two-day training workshop in Douala, Cameroon in September 2018, where journalists played the CoPalCam game. By increasing their understanding, this workshop aimed for journalists to be able to write articles of better quality on […]


Four new publications within a month

FindGuillaume, T., Kotowska, M., Hertel, D., Knohl, A., Krashevska, V., Murtilaksono, K., Scheu, S. and Kuzyakov, Y. (2018) Carbon costs and benefits of Indonesian rainforest conversion to plantations. Nature Communications volume 9 2388. ​ Ocampo-Peñuela, N., Garcia-Ulloa, J., Ghazoul, J. and Etter, A. (2018). Quantifying impacts of oil palm expansion on Colombia’s threatened biodiversity. Biological Conservation 224, 117–121. […]


OPAL games in action at the Latsis Symposium

On 9 June 2018, two of OPAL’s games were put into action at the public events of the Latsis Symposium 2018 – ‘Scaling-up Forest Restoration’ – the German-language version of the CoPalCam game, aimed at school-aged children, and ComMoDo (short for COMpanion MOdelling in InDOnesia), a game developed by ETH Zürich PhD student Nur Hasanah. […]


OPAL newsletter

Read our project news updates from December 2017 to May 2018 in our OPAL newsletters, available here.


Palm oil diplomacy at a crossroads

The palm oil debate between Europe and Indonesia has reached a crossroads, where the path taken could lead to opportunity or disaster. Negotiators and politicians in both regions have a responsibility to millions of producers and consumers of palm oil to take the right path. Indonesia is the world’s top palm oil producer, accounting for […]


National palm oil policy dialogue (Yaoundé, Cameroon, 21-23 February 2018)

The OPAL team in Cameroon organized a National Palm Oil Policy Dialogue to leverage policy towards sustainable palm oil development in Cameroon. The three-day workshop was organized under the auspices of the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (MINADER) under the theme ‘Sustainable Palm Oil Development in Cameroon: Investing in a sustainable future for people […]


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
Universitätstrasse 16
8092 Zürich

Contact Us