Friday, November 6, 2009

Natural Science Lecture: Oil Palm & Conservation

The Natural Science Society Presents

"Oil Palm & Conservation : Shall We Do Both?"

by : Mr Rob Stuebing
Technical Advisor (Conservation),
PT. Rea Kaltim Plantations, Samarinda, Kalimantan Timur, Indonesia.

Date: 7th November 2009 (Saturday) 2-4pm

Venue: New World Suite Bintulu Level 5

Free Admission


The presentation deals with the approach to conservation work as set up by PT. REA Kaltim Plantations, a medium-sized oil palm company located in the Mahakam Basin of East Kalimantan, Indonesia. Since 1994, about 26,000 hectares of oil palm have been planted, while 19.5% of the land has been set aside for the conservation of biodiversity.

Mr. Rob Stuebing has worked as the Technical Advisor since setting up the REA Kaltim Conservation Department (REA KON) in late 2007.

The official policy of the PT REA Kaltim as presented by this Department is to:
• Conserve the biodiversity features of the original landscape;
• Minimise or eliminate adverse ecological impacts of human activities;
• Provide long-term benefits for all.

REA KON maintains long-term scientific partnerships or MOUs with the Indonesian Institute of Science, as well as several local universities (Universitas Indonesia in Jakarta, and Universitas Mulawarman in Samarinda), local NGOs such as WWF-Indonesia, and international organizations such as the Singapore Herbarium, Field Museum of Natural History and the IUCN Crocodile Specialist Group. PT. REA Kaltim Plantations is a member of RSPO, and has cooperative links with the Rainforest Alliance’s Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN).


Rob Stuebing arrived in Malaysia as a Peace Corps volunteer in 1973, and in early 1974 began teaching vertebrate biology, ecology and systematics at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur), and subsequently in UPM-Serdang and UKM-Sabah, for about 20 years. After a brief stint as Honorary Curator of Zoology at the Sabah Museum 1992- 1993, he joined the ITTO (International Tropical Timber Organization) Unit of the Forest Department Sarawak in biodiversity surveys and management for Totally Protected Areas and logging concessions. Subsequently, he worked as a consultant for WWF - Indonesia, for DANCED/Sabah Wildlife Department on crocodile management, and back to Kalimantan for Timber Certification with the Rainforest Alliance/SmartWood until 2003. He worked with the Sarawak’s Planted Forests Project as Conservation Manager from 2004-2007. Later in 2007, he was appointed Technical Advisor to the Conservation Department of PT. REA Kaltim Plantations, in Hulu Belayan, East Kalimantan. An aspiring herpetologist, he has published a number of scientific papers on small mammals, frogs, snakes, and crocodiles, as well as two field guides (with Robert F. Inger) on the frogs, and the snakes of Borneo. He also has several former students lurking in the audience.


• Six years in developing effective, integrated conservation programmes in the industrial plantations (acacia and oil palm) in Malaysian Borneo and Kalimantan, Indonesia.
• Thirty-five years experience in biodiversity assessment and management of Protected Areas, timber concessions and plantations (Malaysia and Indonesia)
• Member of IUCN/SSC Amphibian Specialist Group, Crocodile Specialist Group, Sustainable Use Specialist Group) and founder member / former Chair (20072008) IUCN/CSG Tomistoma Task Force
• Supervision of faunal inventories, and writing of conservation management plans as a consultant biodiversity specialist for governmental, and NGO/Civil Society, and private companies
• 19 years teaching experience in Malaysian universities.