Judging Panel, RSPO Excellence Awards (Roundtable17 2019)

I was selected to join a distinguished panel of judges with many years of experience in palm oil sustainability to select winners of the inaugural RSPO Excellence Awards, in conjunction with the RSPO Roundtable 17, 2019 in Marriott Marquis Queen’s Park, Bangkok, Thailand. The winners of the awards, across five key impact areas, were as follows:


  • Human Rights and Labour Initiative: Wilmar International Limited
  • Conservation Leadership: Olam International Limited
  • Smallholder Impact Programme: KUD Tani Subur
  • Community Impact: Agroaceite S.A.
  • Outstanding Achievement: Taronga Conservation Society Australia.
  • Honourable Mention: Saraya Co. Limited

See media coverage here.

Congratulations to all the winners!





Profile – Women Also Know Stuff

In conjunction with International Women’s Day 2019, I am proud to join the Women Also Know Stuff community.

“WAKS’s goal is to promote and publicize the work and expertise of scholars in political science who identify as women. Implicit and explicit gender biases mean that women are often underrepresented as experts in the academy and in media. WAKS’s searchable database helps academics and journalists identify and connect with women academics conducting research on a multitude of issues related to the study of politics.”

My WAKS profile is available here

The Haze Problem in Southeast Asia – Now available in paperback!

My book (originally only available in hardcover) has been selected to be made available in paperback under the Routledge Paperbacks Direct programme! The paperback version carries a substantially lower and more accessible pricetag, and a further discount is available when you use the code FLR40. Orders can be placed at the Routledge website. Thanks to everyone who have bought/asked their libraries to acquire the book – I really appreciate your support!

The Haze Problem in Southeast Asia_Author Flyer.1-page-001

Book Review by Dr Lee Poh Onn, ISEAS Singapore

Dr Lee Poh Onn, Senior Research Fellow at ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, Singapore was an important contributor to my book, “The Haze Problem in Southeast Asia: Palm Oil and Patronage”, for providing his own insights, linking me up with his contacts, and also giving his enthusiastic encouragement for the project. An expert himself about development and political economy in ASEAN, he has now written a very kind review of my book, where he reflects on the content through his own academic lens. This review has been published in the Journal of Southeast Asian Economies Vol. 34/3 (Dec 2017) Special Issue: “The Malaysian Economy Towards 2020 and Beyond”. it is available for free download at the Journal’s website here (direct download link here).  Thank you, Dr Lee!

Exploring Geographies of Globalisation in Kuching, Borneo

I was invited to join a group of students and lecturers from the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology, University of Newcastle, United Kingdom on a field trip in Kuching. I functioned as their ‘local’ academic resource person. The trip was to expose the students to geographies of globalisation in Kuching, especially in relation to how the palm oil industry has affected the process of globalisation here.

We visited a SALCRA (Sarawak Land Consolidation and Rehabilitation Authority) plantation and palm oil mill in Setenggang, about an hour away from Kuching. This was a great opportunity for the students to experience a real functioning organised palm oil operation, from plantation to mill.

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Book Review by Dr Rory Padfield

Dr Rory Padfield, formerly of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia and currently at Oxford Brookes University, United Kingdom very kindly wrote a review of my book, “The Haze Problem in Southeast Asia: Palm Oil and Patronage”. An early, condensed version of this review was read out at my book launch at University Malaya last year (by Dr Roy Anthony Rogers), and the full-length version has been recently published in the Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography.

A (quite amusing, if I do say so!) excerpt:

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