Zoë Sakura Ogahara
My research project ‘Smallholder palm oil growers and sustainability in Southeast Asia: An interdisciplinary assessment’ responds to an urgent call for understanding how palm oil production can be made fully sustainable. Palm oil is regarded as a key crop for the development of rural areas but plantations compete with tropical forests for space. Previous scholarship has highlighted serious negative environmental and social consequences from palm oil production. The findings from this research will provide an opportunity to reflect on the current methods and priorities of policies to promote sustainable palm oil, as well as contribute to the theoretical and conceptual understanding of socio-ecological change and sustainability more generally in SE Asia.
My PhD is funded by the University of Copenhagen’s TALENT Doctoral Fellowship Program, which is co-funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program.
I was previously a researcher in the Migration and Development Research Group at the Maastricht Graduate School of Governance / United Nations University-MERIT, where I obtained a Master’s degree in Public Policy and Human Development in 2018. My master's research focused on the access to education for the children of migrant workers on palm oil plantations in East Malaysia.