OPAL Newsletter No. 7

The latest project news from August to November 2017 is now available. You can find all OPAL newsletters here.


OPAL extended until 2021!

On 5 September 2017, the OPAL team was invited by the SNF r4d program to the evaluation of its project in Bern, Switzerland. A scientific report had already been provided in July, together with an application for extension. During the evaluation, OPAL project leader Jaboury Ghazoul gave a presentation, highlighting progress and pathways to impact. Following […]


​Workshop in Colombia (29 May – 2 June 2017)

The OPAL team in Colombia organized a workshop in the Llanos region, to move development of the ComMod game forward in the country and share experiences of the process so far. All of Colombia’s OPAL team were joined by Jaboury Ghazoul, Claude Garcia and John Garcia Ulloa from ETH Zürich. The main objectives of the […]


Teenagers managing oil palm plantations

Following last year’s success, on 15 March 2017, two classes of Le Lycée Français de Zürich came to ETH Zürich to play the CoPalCam game, focused on Cameroon’s oil palm supply chain. In each half-day session, the students, aged 15-18 years old, were split into two ‘valleys’, taking on the roles of small growers, truck rental, […]


Workshop with Swiss stakeholders

On 9 December 2016, the ETH Zürich team organized a workshop to explore with stakeholders from Switzerland the resilience of the oil palm supply chain in Cameroon. The workshop used the CoPalCam game, developed in the field by the Cameroonian project team. Attendees included institutions and NGOs involved in conservation and sustainability (Greenpeace, IUCN, UNEP, […]


Site visit to Kurtai Kartanegara, East Kalimantan, Indonesia

OPAL Indonesia organized a visit to the project sites in Kutai Kartanegara from 12 to 16 September 2016. Participants included most of the OPAL Indonesian team (IPB, WWF Indonesia and CIFOR), representatives from ETH Zürich and two delegates from SNF (Claude Martin and Peter Verburg). The visit was an opportunity to get to know some of […]


Companion modelling workshop in Indonesia

OPAL’s Indonesian team organized a training workshop in companion modelling on 5-9 September 2016, with the support from ETH Zürich, attended by partners WWF Indonesia, The Forest Trust and the Luc Hoffmann Institute. Over the five days, participants explored all aspects of participatory modelling: (1) framing the question, (2) designing a conceptual model, (3) creating […]


EPFL start field work in Colombia

What impact does the conversion of savanna to oil palm plantations have on soil fertility and carbon stocks? This is what the EPFL team began research on, during its first field campaign from June to August 2016. Welcomed and helped by OPAL’s Colombian team, they were quickly able to meet oil palm growers, visit potential research […]


OPAL Cameroon welcomes two new interns

Two new master students have just joined the OPAL Cameroon team as interns. For the next six months, CIFOR is hosting Théo Martin, who is doing his master’s degree in Agricultural Development at the Institut des Régions Chaudes, France. Meanwhile, WWF is hosting Marie Gaelle Ngo Njiki, from the Faculty of Agronomy and Agricultural Sciences […]


Back to school – OPAL lessons learnt at the Lycée Français Marie Curie de Zürich

Our models can also be used for teaching. Seventeen-year-old science major students at the Lycée Français Marie Curie de Zürich had lectures on the challenges and opportunities of oil palm cultivation in the tropics… before role playing small growers to better understand agribusiness in Cameroon. Competition, aggressive selling techniques, environmental lobbying, and lots of fun. In […]


The OPAL Project was 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

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