Publications des agents du Cirad


36 shades of oil palm or all about the oil palm

Launois M., Chirara F., Durand-Gasselin T., Rival A.. 2016. Montpellier : CIRAD, 91 p.. (Les savoirs partagés).

Many of us have witnessed or participated in the controversies raging around the oil palm since the start of the 21st century. Voluntary and involuntary consumers of palm oil and palm kernel oil find themselves between one set of groups which refer to the oil palm as a providential herb, and another set which condemn industrial plantations. The polemics overlap, arguments pile one on top of another, factions and biases contradict each other. Our aim is not to convince all readers to assume the same viewpoint, but to help their opinions evolve by taking into account information other actors know but often have not shared. It is to rouse curious minds by letting them find their own path through 160 seeds of knowledge and weave their way through 205 contextual illustrations. The ultimate challenge is to create a greater sense of intellectual and cultural openness by drawing from a wide range of scientific and practical knowledge. With extensive experience of the oil palm in all of its colours under its belt, GIRAD met with, listened to, and shared its knowledge with all of the actors in the sector, considering the elements which were sources of comfort and discomfort for people, animals and plants. In view of respecting the opinions expressed and of facilitating crucial understanding of the opinions of others, the designers of this work propose 36 viewpoints, using an empathetic narrative style, suggesting bridges between different sections of the text, and offering pedagogical links between various blocks of opinion. The authors hope that this effort to share knowledge on the only giant herb able to make two oils in abundance will travel beyond research and development circuits to circulate through education, culture and information networks.

Mots-clés : elaeis guineensis; impact sur l'environnement; information; communication; recherche agronomique


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