An independent multidisciplinary panel of judges, who are leaders and experts from relevant sectors of the palm oil and/or sustainability industry will be constituted to review all award submissions and select a winner for each award category.

Adam Harrison

Woodland Trust Scotland

Adam has dedicated his life to saving forests around the world and helping the people who depend on them. A Forest Ecologist by training, he has worked in a wide range of development and environmental roles across the world. Adam spent 17 years with WWF UK, focusing on forestry, farming, and food policy work. He has also led WWF’s work on palm oil in the UK and internationally. As the Palm Oil Lead for WWF International, Adam served on the RSPO Board of Governors and as the Chair of the Standards and Certification Standing Committee. Beginning 2017, Adam started working for the Woodland Trust in Scotland, UK’s leading woodland charity, promoting the role of native woodlands in improving the environment and society in the UK.

Dr. Helena Varkkey

Senior Lecturer, Department of International and Strategic Studies University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Throughout her academic career, sustainable development has always been an area of interest for Dr Helena. Her passion and support towards this topic are demonstrated by her focus on transboundary pollution in Southeast Asia. Dr Helena is particularly interested in the role of patronage in agribusiness, especially the palm oil industry, and its link to forest fires and haze in the region. In 2016, her findings were published in a book, The Haze Problem in Southeast Asia: Palm Oil and Patronage, which was a part of the Routledge Malaysian Studies Series. Additionally, her commentaries on sustainable development and haze issues have also been published in The Straits Times Singapore and CNN Online, among others.

Dr. Janice Lee

Assistant Professor, Asian School of the Environment Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Dr. Janice Lee obtained her PhD degree from ETH Zurich and was a Swiss National Science Foundation mobility postdoc in the Science, Technology and Environmental Policy programme at Princeton University. She is currently an Assistant Professor at the Asian School of the Environment, Nanyang Technological University of Singapore. Her research interests include investigating the drivers of pertinent Land Use and Land Cover Change in the tropics, evaluating management strategies for tropical forest-agricultural landscapes, and understanding the effects of environmental change on food security.

John Patrick Baskett

Independent Agriculturalist and Plantation Management Advisor

John has over 45 years of experience in the plantation industry. He started his career in the industry in 1963 as a divisional assistant manager at Harrisons and Crosfield (M) Ltd. By 1974, he was promoted to manage various estates in Malaysia, and in 1983 he became the Visiting Agent responsible for overseeing more than 20 estates in the country. Patrick was assigned to Harrisons & Crosfield (PNG) Ltd in 1987 as Managing Director, and in 1991, he was reassigned as President Director of PTPP London Sumatra Indonesia for 4 years. He then joined PT Tania Selatan as President Director in charge of developing 85,000ha of abandoned ex-transmigration land to a large inti/plasma oil palm scheme. In 1998, he joined Socfin Group as Principal Director of PT Socfin Indonesia. He retired in 2008 and thereafter he has undertaken advisory work in Indonesia and Myanmar for various organisations, including the RSPO.

Teoh Cheng Hai


Cheng Hai has over 40 years of experience in the plantation industry with Golden Hope Plantations Berhad, which is now part of Sime Darby Berhad. He was the founding Secretary-General of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and Advisor to the RSPO Executive Board in 2005/06 and Co-Chair of Dispute Settlement Facility (DSF) Advisory Group (2013/2015). Throughout his career, Cheng Hai has served as a consultant or advisor (related to palm oil) for various international organisations, including the World Bank Group, International Finance Corporation, WWF Malaysia, and WWF China. He was the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Solidaridad Asia and former member of the Solidaridad Network International Supervisory Board. He currently serves as the Senior Advisor to Solidaridad Asia. In 2016, Cheng Hai was conferred Honorary Fellow of the Malaysian Oil Scientists’ & Technologists’ Association (MOSTA).

Dr. Truly Santika

Senior Research Fellow
School of Biological Sciences, The University of Queensland, Australia
Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology (DICE), University of Kent, United Kingdom

A landscape analyst and bioeconomic modeller with a research focus on integrated landscape (holistic) approach to sustainability, Dr. Truly has been a lead author of over 20 highly impact scientific articles, including key publications on oil palm agriculture (World Development), community forestry (Global Environmental Change), fire and climate change adaptation (Nature Sustainability), forest and species conservation (Scientific Reports) and macroecology (Global Ecology and Biogeography). Born and bred in Riau, Indonesia, Dr. Truly holds a PhD in Environment and Natural Resource Management, a Master degree in Statistics and Operations Research, and a Bachelor degree in Mathematics.

Urmila Bhoola

Human Rights Lawyer

Urmila is the National Director of Lawyers for Human Rights in South Africa and a former Judge of the Labour Court of South Africa. Her judicial appointment followed 20 years of work as a labour and human rights lawyer in the country and she has received many awards for her human rights and gender equality work. Urmila has been working internationally on issues relating to women’s rights, child labour and marriage, business and supply chain sustainability, international human rights, and labour norms and conventions. She is also the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Slavery, its causes and consequences - a mandate that she has been holding for six years.