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Wild Asia, Malaysia

  • Definition
    Devising project idea, defining the aim and main components
  • Design
    Specifying details such as time-frame, budget, target indicators, project partners and relevant steps to reach the project objectives
  • Financing
    Searching and securing funding and investment, setting up relevant financing partnerships, and discussing payment modalities
  • Implementation
    Execution of feasibility studies, context analysis, plot design, planting and setting up facilities and starting with potential capacity-building
  • Maintenance
    Operational phase (monitoring and evaluation, impact assessments and adjustments, execution of educational programmes and long-term capacity building)
  • Scaling Up
    Scaling up phase is when the project it has already shown success by obtaining impact as well as economic results and it's ready to become replicable.

This project is rethinking Malaysian oil palm plantations. Together with reNature, Wild Asia is creating a new normal in palm oil – an industry commonly related to deforestation and its adverse environmental impacts. By growing oil palm in agroforestry systems, this project will fundamentally improve their environmental value through diversification. In contrast to conventional plantations, our systems will be nature-inclusive, welcoming a wide range of species benefiting biodiversity and the climate while supporting farmer livelihoods.

Number of direct beneficiaries

1.000 village farmers & their families

Development Challenge

Monoculture oil palm plantations have very low environmental value compared to Borneo’s native tropical rainforest ecosystems. Very few species can survive on those farms due to the degraded habitat and the excessive use of agrochemicals. Furthermore, they have low carbon sequestration potential and often degrade the soil. There is an urgent need to rethink these systems to save Borneo’s wildlife and mitigate climate change while supporting farmer livelihoods.

Intervention

ReNature will work with Wild Asia to develop a 100 ha pilot plot of diversified agroforestry, showcasing the benefits to both farmers and the environment, and building the capacity of Wild Asia’s local teams to guide these farmers. From this, we will scale up to a full 1,000 ha and potentially further by partnering with other larger producers.

Objective

To design and implement oil palm agroforestry systems that maximized environmental value whilst enhancing farm profitability. 

Inspirational Impact

This project will demonstrate that palm oil agroforestry systems are not only viable but highly beneficial in the Malaysian context. They will be a starting point for driving the widespread adoption of better practices in palm oil production, including farmer and industry outreach activities and regular visits and study tours organized by Wild Asia.

Environmental Impact

Diversifying oil palm systems through agroforestry has a range of environmental advantages. Our approach encourages valuable biological interactions, regenerating soils and providing a range of ecological niches for native flora and fauna. In this way, agroforestry contributes to Borneo’s landscape as a functional ecosystem. Soil regeneration is fostered by reducing the need for agrochemicals. Furthermore, the system will promote carbon sequestration in the above and below-ground biomass. 

Economic Impact

Agroforestry oil palm systems will diversify farm income, protecting farmers against price fluctuations as well as mitigating the risk of pests, diseases or extreme weather. Moreover, all palm oil will be RSPO certified securing an added value for the product. Farmers will also benefit from increased profitability due to lower input costs

Social Impact

The well-being of farmers and their families are core to the project. Diversification through agroforestry provides food crops that improve diets and providing valuable nutrition. There will also be a reduced need for agrochemicals that often have negative health impacts for farmers.

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Journal

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