CGIAR Gender

CGIAR Collaborative Platform for Gender Research

Webinar on Gender and Large-Scale Land Acquisition: Lessons from Oil Palm in Indonesia

Date: May 30, 2017,
Time: 3 – 4 PM Central European Time (CET)


Photo: Icaro Cooke Vieira/CIFOR 
Photo: Icaro Cooke Vieira/CIFOR

Webinar recording

Did you miss the webinar? Click here to access the webinar recording, and enter the password MqxwXTw4

Webinar presentations

Download the presentation on Gender dimensions of oil palm investments in East and West Kalimantan, Indonesia.


The webinar presented insights from a collaborative research program that explored the science-policy interface from a gendered perspective. It brought together CIFOR researchers, research partners, and NGO partners collaborating on gender research in oil palm. The webinar showed what a ‘gender lens’ for research on the palm oil global value chain brings, and why this is important for research and for policy by drawing out practical lessons for researchers and practitioners. The webinar covered the following topics:

  • Overview of key issues on oil palm in Indonesia
  • Key findings and recommendations from CIFOR and the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry’s (FTA) collaborative research on gender and oil palm
  • The role of research in informing national and global advocacy networks promoting gender equality and rights of local communities and indigenous peoples
  • Lessons for other research exploring science-policy interface from a gendered perspective.


Oil palm is an ingredient used in approximately 50% of products sold in supermarkets in Europe and the United States. For middle class and low-income consumers in India, Indonesia and China, it is the most commonly used cooking oil. Indonesia is the largest producer of oil palm globally, and in the islands of Sumatra, Kalimantan and Papua, entire landscapes have, and continue to be, transformed as oil palm replaces tropical rainforests, swidden agriculture and other forms of land uses. Needless to say, it is a highly controversial crop. For some, it’s a major source of export earnings (constituting 11% of Indonesia’s global export), and a contributor of rural employment and poverty reduction in a country where 28 million people live below the poverty line. For others, it has signalled deforestation, biodiversity loss, and infringement of the rights of local people and workers employed in the oil palm economy.

But the growing concerns over the social and economic effects of oil palm rarely takes a gender balanced or gender aware point of view, despite the fact that women are very much affected by the oil palm economy, both as members of local communities who are being displaced by oil palm, and as workers and parts of smallholder households contributing to the oil palm value chains. CIFOR and the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) has been collaborating with research and development partners to address this gap and shed light on both women’s and men’s experiences of oil palm across different social groups – from local communities to migrant workers.


Dr. Solange Bandiaky-Badji: Solange Bandiaky-Badji is the Director for Africa and Gender Justice Programs for the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI). She takes the lead in providing strategic guidance to the RRI to develop a strategy for engagement on tenure rights issues in the Africa program.  She leads RRI’s Gender Justice Thematic Programs and ensures the implementation of the global gender strategy on women’s tenure rights. She holds a PhD in Women’s and Gender Studies from Clark University in Massachusetts and an MA in Environmental Sciences and in Philosophy from Cheikh Anta Diop University in Senegal.  She worked as the Regional Expert/consultant on gender and climate change for the Africa Adaptation Programme (AAP) and the UNDP/ BDP Gender Team.  Solange has published work on gender in relation to natural resource management, decentralization and local governance, forest and land reforms.

Dr. Mia Siscawati : Mia Siscawati is a lecturer and the Head of Gender Studies Graduate Program at Universitas Indonesia. She holds a PhD and a MA in Anthropology from University of Washington, WA, USA, another MA in development studies from Brandeis University, MA, USA, and a BSc in Forestry from Bogor Agricultural University (IPB), Indonesia.  Her research interests include gender and natural resources management, gender and forestry, gender and agriculture, gender and climate change, gender and land and forest tenure, gender and agrarian conflicts, gender and agrarian reform, gender and local governance.  She has been actively involved in social movements in Indonesia, including environmental movement, women’s movement and indigenous people’s movement.

Dr. Rebecca Elmhirst: Rebecca Elmhirst is Reader in Human Geography and Deputy Head of the School of Environment and Technology at the University of Brighton, UK. She holds a PhD in Environment and Political Ecology from University of London, and an MA in Geography from University of British Columbia, Canada, and a BA  in Geography with Anthropology from Newcastle University, UK. Her research interests focus on gender, natural resource management and development, feminist political ecology, and dispossession, multi-local livelihoods and migration in forested landscapes. Over the past 20 years she has been involved in research on these themes with communities in Indonesia, and in developing research-led teaching on gender and political ecology for undergraduate and graduate students in the UK and Southeast Asia.

Dr. Pablo Pacheco: Pablo has an interdisciplinary background. He holds a B.A. in Sociology, a M.Sc. in Agricultural Economics and a Ph.D. in Geography from the Graduate School of Geography at Clark University, MA, USA. His research interests include the human dimensions of global environmental change, implications of trade and investment for forests and people, land and forests governance, regional development and land-use change, and institutions for forest resources management. He is currently conducting global research on the implications of globalized trade and investment on forests, people’s livelihoods and economic development, and the associated state and non-state responses towards building multi-scale governance systems to manage their social, economic and environmental impacts and trade-offs. Before working with CIFOR he worked at the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA).

Dr. Bimbika Sijapati Basnet: Bimbika Sijapati Basnett is a Social Scientist and Gender Coordinator at the Center for International Forestry Research. Bimbika coordinates CIFOR’s research on gender, and supports with the integration of gender research within the CGIAR’s Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforests. Bimbika also manages and contributes to CIFOR’s research on agribusiness investments in forested landscapes as well as on migration and mobility. Bimbika holds a PhD in Development Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Prior to joining CIFOR, Bimbika worked as a researcher and consultant for various government and non-governmental organizations in the UK, Nepal and the South Pacific.