Exploring impacts of oil palm in Uganda

Published by LEAF on

Exploring impacts of oil palm in Uganda

With Tropenbos international


By playing a palm oil supply chain game (CoPalCam), policy makers, local stakeholders and researchers gain a deeper understanding of the palm oil supply chain. It was played at a workshop on Buvuma Island, Uganda in April 2018 with 24 local actors, plus eight project management staff, and three facilitators. They spent two intensive days, with participants taking on the roles of different stakeholders.

Participants of the workshop reported high levels of satisfaction with both the content and the form of the workshop. We associated (1) the network and social capital developed by the GLA project, with NAPE and its partners, (2) the use of relevant models to explore the complexity of the Oil Palm Development in tropical landscapes, and (3) skilled facilitation enabling inclusive participation. This resulted in a workshop that could convey complex, powerful messages, outline a jointly constructed action plan for the coming year, and indicate possible avenues for collaboration between the local communities, the project partners, the local authorities and private companies. The Q method that we explored for the first time enables us to already demonstrate changes in perceptions by the participants, contributing to solve one of the bottlenecks of the Companion Modelling approach. Finally, in view of the strategic depth that will be required from the stakeholders to safely navigate the future development of oil palm projects in the islands and in the mainland, we recommend GLA to further invest in the use of games. Together with facilitation, these tools will help stakeholders reach the higher levels of awareness that will enable trans-chain cooperation and more social–ecological sustainable, holistic management strategies.

Story written by: Danny Nef, edited by: LEAF
Photo credits: LEAF



Tropenbos International
Wageningen University


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