Palm oil is a major growth driver for Indonesia, but the industry is facing criticism for deforestation and its slash-and-burn forest-clearing techniques that send vast plumes of smoke across Southeast Asia every year, described by climate officials as a “crime against humanity”.
[President] Widodo has pledged to tackle these fires and last week said palm oil firms must raise yields of existing plantations instead of clearing forests to increase acreage and output. The land already given to growers could be more than twice as productive “provided they use the right seeds”, he said.
Palm Oil is going to face even more troubles as more and more junk food buying Americans learn about the consequences of their production practices and boycott all products with irresponsibly sourced palm oil. The crimes against humanity charge is true and in addition are the crimes against all the locally impacted animals
World Wildlife Fund Provides the following:
Palm oil & biodiversity loss
Large-scale conversion of tropical forests to oil palm plantations has a devastating impact on a huge number of plant and animal species.
Specific problems include:
- The destruction of habitats containing rare and endangered species.
- The elimination of wildlife corridors between areas of genetic diversity.
- An increase in human-wildlife conflict as populations of large animals – such as tigers, elephants and orangutans – are squeezed into increasingly isolated fragments of natural habitat.
- Reduced biodiversity in plantations. For example, nearly 80 mammal species are found in Malaysia’s primary forests. In contrast, disturbed forests have just over 30 mammal species, while oil palm plantations have only 11 or 12 (Wakker 1998, in Clay (2004) “World Agriculture & Environment”). Similar species reductions occur for insects, birds, reptiles and soil microorganisms.
- Increased harvesting of animal species for food, the pet trade or other reasons by people lured to plantations as workers.
- The indiscriminate use of poisons to eliminate rats within oil palm plantations, which also poison other animals attempting to recolonize plantations.
So… time for these businesses to do the right thing:
Start your petitions, send your emails and tweets… they need to stop with what they have and get more efficient, clear cutting and destroying habitats is not responsible or sustainable.
- Musim Mas: Togar Sitanggang, Corp Affairs Manager for Musim Mas which is one of the largerst palm oil producers
- Indonesian Palm Oil Association (other big players)
- PT Sinar Mas Agro Resources
- Astra Agro Lestari
- Wilmar International