Sustainable Palm Oil Is a Growing Concern

Palm oil is a commodity that is highly in demand. Since the eve of the second millennium, governments have been prioritising on developing a greener planet.  Car manufacturers are focused on building clearer and more efficient cars.

Countries that produce palm oil including: Malaysia, Colombia and Indonesia are under pressure to supply the demand. Sustainability is a growing concern. There is a huge threat to wildlife and rain forests in tropical regions. The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) established in 2003,  tackle the problems of deforestation and the growing regions of peat lands. As a result, the number of orangutans have declined and now classed as endangered species.

The responsibility of the RSPO is to enforce sustainable palm oil regulations. Oil palms are highly efficient oil producers each fruit containing 50% of oil. The palm oil tree produces more oil than any other oil plant per hectare.

Palm oil can be a highly sustainable resource if planned properly. As the global demand increases, it is important to keep the rainforests safe and natural habitats preserved.

In 2011, the Cameroon palm oil project has evidence that threatens the eco-system of west Central Africa.  Doctors and environmental experts wrote to National Geographic stating their concern of this project and that numerous laws and RSPO rules are in violation.

Some of the violations include the proposed 70,000 hectare palm oil plantation is unsuitable for most wildlife species. The project will require large dense area of high-canopy forest to be removed in order to plant oil palms, resulting in additional carbon dioxide, resulting to an incline of deforestation and the decline of certain species.

It is imperative, that regulations are in place to protect local communities and the current ecosystem.  Sustainability is an important aspect of any farming infrastructure, the developing quality regulations and practices, sustainable farming is highly achievable.

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