World Bank Group - new palm oil sector approach

Khor Reports comment: On 2nd April 2011, The World Bank Group (WBG) announced its "new Framework and IFC Strategy to guide its future engagement in the palm oil sector." This follows-on a freeze on new investments in the sector, followed by months of consultations. WBG says it will focus investments as follows: i) institutional and market initiatives to benefit smallholder development, ii) on projects to improve productivity on existing plantations and iii) it sounds as though funding of new area development would have to be on degraded lands.


WBG says its areas of focus include support for:
• regulatory and governance reforms;
• responsible private investments;
• improved benefit sharing with smallholders and communities; and
• development and widespread adoption of environmentally and socially sustainable standards and codes of practice.

a) "Institutional and market initiatives that support smallholders and foster benefit sharing with rural communities. This will take place by helping to strengthen smallholder producer organizations, promoting their access to finance and markets, improving their agronomy practices and productivity, and fostering fair contractual arrangements with larger companies."
b) "To help protect forests and biodiversity and to move palm oil expansion from forested areas and peat lands, the Bank Group will give priority to initiatives that encourage production on degraded lands and seek to improve productivity of existing plantations."

WBG will scrutinize investments, using "new analytical “tools”, such as a joint World Bank-IFC Country Situation Analysis and IFC’s Risk Screening and Assessment procedure."

Read more about it here: