So, new tactics have come into use. The organization only certifies products that use palm oil that does not directly cause deforestation, fires, and child labor. This results in deforestation, destroying habitats of wild animals native to rainforests — namely, orangutans (as well as other primates, rhinos, elephants and tigers, according to the BBC). “The biodiesel program needs lands for new oil palm plantations which could lead to massive deforestation,” he said. Once these vehicles are being developed, what use will the biodiesel be?”. Check out this piece by Amnesty International to learn about labor in the palm oil industry, and why sustainable palm oil claims are not always legitimate. “Even if we keep replanting [existing plantations], we need a total of 3.8 million hectares [9.4 million acres],” he said. That moratorium,  imposed by President Joko Widodo in September 2018, is due to expire in September 2021. “So in my opinion, it can be guaranteed that the palm oil produced to become fuel [is sustainable] because it has to go through the [certification] procedure,” Sigit said. Deforestation for palm oil has led countries to restrict imports of the edible oil, while labour concerns has seen the US block some Malaysian palm oil products. Just because a product doesn't include "palm oil" on the ingredients list doesn't mean it is palm oil free. Indonesia’s Palm Oil Association today questioned the CDP findings and said firms had adhered to domestic industry standards. “The biodiesel program is clearly not a solution for the country’s fiscal state and will worsen the implementation of Indonesia’s climate commitment because it is oriented toward deforestation and new land clearing in forest areas. Traction Asia researchers attribute this gap to the government’s failure to account for the inefficiency of oil palm plantations when setting its biodiesel targets. You may have also noticed some strong opinions on palm oil in the environmentalist community: some people refuse to eat any food or buy any cosmetics made with palm oil, while others will only buy "sustainable" palm oil, while others who are not bothered by palm oil at all. In 2017, the government was only able to replant 14,790 hectares (36,550 acres) of old plantations, or 71% of its target. Almost all oil palm grows in areas that were once tropical moist forests, some of them quite recently. Deforestation is one of the major sustainability challenges for the agri- and aquaculture sector. The corporate drivers of deforestation not only have massive influence over how their suppliers produce palm oil, soy, cocoa, pulp, paper, timber and beef, but also over each other. The conversion to date, and future expansion, threatens biodiversity and increases greenhouse gas emissions. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. He also pointed to President Widodo’s recent courting of electric vehicle maker Tesla, in which he advertised Indonesia, with its rich deposits of nickel, as a potential global hub for the production of electric vehicles. #plantbased #GoVegan #vganghttps://t.co/8mFzTgv7Bk. Palm oil production is said to have been responsible for about 8% of the world's deforestation between 1990 and 2008. Palm oil and deforestation Palm plantations are reputed to be a major factor of deforestation. “This will create a deficit. Palm oil leads to deforestation (Stock) In the past 16 years, the quest for palm oil has led to the death of an estimated 100,000 orangutans, according to research. Palm oil is technically vegan, since it is completely plant-based and does not come from the body of animals. The crash in oil prices earlier this year forced the government to allocate a $195 million stimulus for the biodiesel program from the state budget. The deforestation was first detected in March 2020 by U.S.-based campaign organization Mighty Earth, which found 221 hectares (546 acres) of forest cleared in the concession of PT Medcopapua Hijau Selaras (MPHS), a subsidiary of the Jakarta-based Capitol Group. As mentioned above, developers often torch and bulldoze areas of biodiverse rainforests to create palm oil plantations. The total needed to keep the biodiesel program afloat is $250 million. It's worth noting that the RSPO does have oil palm producers as stakeholders — though it has environmental organizations as stakeholders as well, in an effort to produce palm oil in both a lucrative and sustainable way. Although this is a lower projection than the ministry’s, it still represents an area two-thirds the size of Indonesia’s Java Island. There are also many reports of the palm oil industry exploiting laborers and using child labour. “Soy and oil palm are major deforestation drivers, with over half a million hectares of rainforest, peatland and savannahs destroyed each year for the expansion of these crops,” writes Nutreco in a report outlining the new sourcing policy . By 2000 they have been almost entirely cleared in Sulawesi , and predicted to disappear within few years in … Does Palm Oil Cause Deforestation? In tropical areas, however, palm oil contributes to an estimated 5% of tropical deforestation. “If we don’t, there’s a likelihood for land conversion. While high yielding crops are generally pretty sustainable, that is not true in the case of palm oil. Our EIN or tax ID is 45-3714703. At this rate, Ricky said, it would be more feasible for the government to abandon the replanting program and start establishing new plantations with the higher-yield trees — a move that would threaten the country’s remaining carbon-rich rainforests. Today, the food giant still cannot document the source of almost a third of the palm oil it uses. Some brands claim their products are made with sustainably-harvested palm oil — but considering how flawed the industry is, is that really possible? Palm oil is the most commonly consumed vegetable oil in the world and can be found in around half of the packaged goods in supermarkets globally, ranging from staples (such as bread and noodles) via cosmetics (shampoo and lipsticks) to luxuries (ice cream and dessert). If the government were to maintain the program at B30 through 2025, or even lower the blend to B20, the need for new oil palm plantations wouldn’t be as great — 338,880 to 5.25 million hectares (837,400 to 13 million acres) — but would still entail a significant amount of deforestation. Every day, Mongabay reporters bring you news from nature’s frontline. Some palm plantations were established in lands that were previously forested, but the real share of deforestation caused by palm oil plantations peaked in … We aim to achieve this by using a robust engagement and evaluation process for measuring the progress of the major First Importers of palm oil into international markets. FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. Much of the expansion of palm oil harvesting occurs on land that was previously used for growing crops like coffee or rubber. Image by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay. A newly published study puts the figure of new plantations to supply the program at 9.3 million hectares (23 million acres). Not all Mars’ palm oil suppliers are yet deforestation-free throughout their entire operations, said Parkin, but they must be looking to achieve this within “a couple of years”. Palm oil, aka palm kernel oil, is a type of vegetable oil, similar to canola oil, soybean oil, or grapeseed oil. “We have never heard complaints ... that the use of palm oil materials causes greater financial risk,” a … According to Orangutan Foundation International, palm oil is the No. But to do that, the total planted area of oil palms will have to be at least 22.7 million hectares (56 million acres), according to the new study by the University of Indonesia’s Institute for Economic and Social Research (LPEM UI). Palm oil and deforestation. Much of the palm oil expansion is on land that was previous cropland such as coffee or rubber, especially in Latin America, Sumatra and peninsular Malaysia. Palm oil is extracted from the fruit of the oil palm tree, Elaeis guineensis, which thrives in humid climates. Demand for palm oil has become increasingly controversial due to the commodity's role in driving deforestation, particularly in south-east Asia, including through devastating forest fires which in 2015 produced more carbon emissions that the entire daily emissions of the U.S. If this can be answered, I’m sure there’s not going to be a debate.”. They note that, despite Indonesia being the world’s biggest producer of palm oil, its plantations have lower yields than those in Malaysia, the No. Especially since the government says it wants to develop electric vehicles. If the palm oil industry is not an industry you'd like to support, there are a few tricks that may help you avoid palm oil (for the most part). Sigit said there was a smear campaign underway against palm oil in the European Union and the U.S., two of Indonesia’s biggest export markets. RSPO has developed a standard for sustainable #palmoil production, which includes:no #deforestationno fireno #childlabourWatch the video below and RT to demand #sustainablepalmoil pic.twitter.com/mh7K4IIezn. He said it would ultimately be better for the government to scale back its ambitious biodiesel target to give itself time to improve productivity and sustainability in the industry. Eco-Anxiety Is Inspiring People to Make Changes in Their Lives, What Is the Paris Agreement? For decades, palm oil production has been a driver of deforestation in tropical rainforests in countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia. Found in everything from shampoo to donuts, palm oil is now the most common vegetable oil in the world—and also one of the world's leading deforestation drivers. If you value this objective and impact-driven journalism, please consider becoming a sustaining member. Actor Harrison Ford travels to Indonesia to learn why demand for palm oil in everyday products at the grocery store is driving massive deforestation. Palm Oil Giant Wilmar Unfazed as Watchdogs Cry Foul over Papua Deforestation. In Indonesia, rising demand for palm oil and timber has led to the clearing of tropical forest land in Indonesian national parks.According to a 2007 report published by UNEP, at the rate of deforestation at that time, an estimated 98 percent of Indonesian forest would be destroyed by 2022 due to legal and illegal logging, forest fires and the development of palm oil plantations. He also noted that sustainability standards are routinely flouted within the palm oil industry in Indonesia due to a lack of transparency and traceability. What was initially an oversupply will become a deficit.”. As a pretty easy first step, you can abstain from buying products that explicitly contain palm oil; you can also choose to support companies that state their products are certified palm oil-free; and finally, because palm oil is difficult to 100 percent avoid, you can work to lower the impact of your diet and purchases in other ways — for example, buy vegan, cruelty-free, and locally-made food and products whenever possible. Mongabay Series: Indonesian Forests, Indonesian Palm Oil. It is impossible to know if some ingredients are palm oil-derived, other ingredients and products do not disclose their ingredients, and restaurants may cook with palm oil. According to the WWF, 300 football fields of rainforest are cleared hourly in Southeast Asia for palm oil. However, despite such widespread perceptions, palm plantations are responsible for only 3% of global deforestation. 2 producer. Arkian Suryadarma, a forest campaigner at Greenpeace Indonesia, said it’s highly likely the biodiesel program will lead to deforestation. It dated the clearing to between Jan. 11 and Feb. 24 this year. In Indonesia and Malaysia, deforestation peaked decades ago and was already decreasing before palm oil started to take off. “The potential for renewable energy in Indonesia is not only from biodiesel, but also solar and wind,” Ricky said. Variations in global market prices of palm oil are closely linked to deforestation in areas which are geo-climatically best suited for growing oil palm and they amplify the importance of the political cycle. A key reason the replanting program has fallen short is because its funding, raised through mandatory export tariffs slapped on palm oil companies, has largely gone toward subsidizing biodiesel production and sales, to make the fuel more competitive with conventional diesel. Palm oil is used in everything from processed foods (such as ice cream, margarine, and cookies) to makeup to personal hygiene products (like shampoo and soap) to laundry detergent to biodiesel to animal feed, according to the WWF. According to the WWF, humans have clear-cut 17 percent of the Amazon rainforest over the past five decades. “Move one step back, and then fix the management, raw material and production. That’s why RAN follows the supply chain to influence the big brands you see on grocery store shelves. He said the government expected palm oil exports to decline in the coming years, allowing for greater domestic supply of the commodity, including for the biodiesel program. In fact, more than 80 percent of the world's palm oil grows in Malaysia and Indonesia (which are both located in Southeast Asia), according to Gro Intelligence. Contributing to only 2.3% of global deforestation, palm oil as a crop is not the biggest driver. In 2010, Nestlé gave itself ten years to switch to 100% deforestation-free palm oil. “That’s only to meet the need [for palm oil-derived biofuel] until 2025,” said Alin Halimatussadiah, the LPEM UI head. The deforestation of a peat swamp forest for palm oil production in Indonesia. These oil crops were initially imported to South-East Asia over 100 years ago for ornamental reasons. Palm oil is the most widely traded vegetable oil on the planet, according to a study published on NCBI. Traction Asia’s Ricky said that while it’s true palm oil exports might decline or be capped, consumption of palm oil for food and consumer products is expected to keep growing, and thus the risk of a deficit is still there. Palm oil is one of the most efficient and widely used vegetable oil that comes from the fruit of oil palm trees. Another study, by Traction Asia, warns that the low productivity of existing plantations and ambitious target of the biodiesel program could see demand outstrip supply by 2023. Emma Keller, palm oil expert at WWF-UK, said: “Consumers don’t want their food or other purchases to come with a side order of deforestation and destruction of wildlife. 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