There is considerable scholarly debate around the world about the expansion of oil palm and its impact on rural livelihoods. Consequently, oil palm is regarded as a controversial tree crop possessing both the potential to improve and threaten rural livelihoods. This proposed study will investigate the impact of oil palm expansion on rural livelihoods in the north Guadalcanal plains of the Solomon Islands. In 2005, five years after the â‚¬Å“ethnic conflictâ‚¬Â, Solomon Islands witnessed the re-opening of oil palm by the Guadalcanal Plains Palm Oil Limited (GPPOL), a joint venture company between the New Britain Palm Oil Limited (NBPOL) of Papua New Guinea and landowners of the north Guadalcanal plains in the Solomon Islands. Since GPPOL's operation, there hasn't been any detailed empirical study on its impact on rural livelihoods in north Guadalcanal. Few studies done focus on the resumption of the company and landowner's engagement with the company rather than the micro-level livelihood experiences and livelihood strategies of rural households'. This study will therefore investigate the impact of GPPOL on households' access to livelihood assets/resources and livelihood strategies produced using the Sustainable Livelihood Framework (SLF). The main areas of investigation will be on rural households' access to land (natural resources), income generation (financial resources), education and health (human resources), roads and infrastructures (physical resources) and social networks and relations (social resources). The proposed study will adopt a mixture of quantitative and qualitative research methods to collect and analyse data on the impact of oil palm expansion on rural livelihoods in the Solomon Islands. Livelihoods strategies developed and adopted by rural households' such as diversified livelihoods or hybrid livelihoods will form central themes of analysis as they will be regarded as rural household strategies of addressing vulnerabilities associated with the expansion of oil palm or commodity frontier expansion.
|Publication status||Published - 2015|