To achieve this, RSPO Tuesday signed an initial five-year letter of collaboration (LOC) with Universiti Teknologi Malaysia's (UTM) Palm Oil Research Centre, which is open to extension.
RSPO Head of Impacts Dr Sanath Kumaran said the organisation had a global standard which defined sustainability and was now, looking at collaborating with key university researchers and scientists, to strengthen the standards. "We will soon review our standards. This collaboration presents an opportunity to inject science into plantation management and improve practices on the ground," he told reporters after the signing here Tuesday.
The LOC was signed between RSPO Secretary-General Datuk Darrel Webber and UTM Palm Oil Research Centre Director Dr Sune Balle Hansen, witnessed by UTM Vice-Chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Wahid Omar.
Under the LOC, Hansen said UTM Palm would conduct research to suit the RSPO's requirements.
"We have identified four kick-off research projects that are expected to commence in the fourth quarter of this year.
"The projects concern the treatment of palm oil mill effluent, soil and water conservation in plantations, community consent and participation, as well as smallholder certifications," he added. – Bernama