Palm Oil or BioDiversity

Your first task is a daunting one: you must quickly develop an evidence-based policy recommendation for the country’s Prime Minister. Should she embrace oil palm production as a central pillar of the nation’s 10-year plan for economic growth? Why or why not?
 

Read

 
Review arguments for and against such a move, building in economic and environmental perspectives.
 
In other words, if you have not already done so, read the two required texts for this week: 1) IUCN (2018) Palm Oil and Biodiversity Issues Brief, and 2) Fitch (2018) Essential Oil?
 

Analyze evidence

 
Based on your reading, identify the aspect of the oil palm and biodiversity debate that you find most compelling and want to learn more about.  
 
Then consult the full IUCN (2018) Palm Oil and Biodiversity report as a resource to find, analyze, and cite specific data (i.e., statistics, facts or figures) that will back up your recommendation.
 
Quick tip: refer to the Table of Contents to quickly zoom in on relevant data.
 
You will receive a failing grade if you do not meet this requirement.
 
In other words, I do not expect you to read the full report, but to use it as a reference for finding relevant data. Inform yourself to develop a strong and ideally, even nuanced argument.
 

Write a 400-600 word memo that persuades the Prime Minister to adopt your evidence-based policy recommendation. A template for memos can be found on page 139 of the chapter from Tebeaux and Dragga (2018), which can be found 

 
The memo should provide essential background information, and clearly state an an action that you recommend regarding the oil palm debate. This “action” needs to cite evidence. 
 
Most of your memo should analyze the economic and environmental issues at hand. This means using data to formulate an argument. Take a step back from the resources we’ve provided you and assess what policy recommendation you think is best.
 
Craft your recommendation as you wish, but consider the following questions:
 

What are the main advantages of your recommendation?
Why have you rejected alternative ideas or proposals?
What are the short-, medium-, and long-term implications of your proposal?
Recognize groups or individuals who may not be happy with your proposal
Suggest ways of appeasing them

 

Cite your sources!

 
Cite the sources provided as well as any other sources you might choose.