Palm oil deemed 'Disastrous' for the environment, but here to stay
What's Going On Here?
However, palm oil - or should that be face-palm oil?! 🤦♀️ - is used by billions of people every day, but its production has disastrous consequences for wildlife and mass-deforestation.
What Does This Mean?
Palm oil is used as an affordable ingredient in many food and cosmetic products. You may have already eaten or used some today. Sneaky companies rename it on packaging, so sometimes you won't even know it's there.
The image below shows the deforestation that has occurred on the island of Borneo (worlds 3rd largest island) since 1950, due to the expansion of palm oil farms into the tropical forests.
Why Should We Care?
Tropical forests now account for only 7% of the vegetation on our planet, and in 2017, we lost 40 football fields of tropical trees every second (which is insane considering there are 31,557,600 seconds in a year).
So, if as experts are predicting that palm oil is here to stay, then we need to halt deforestation by diverting palm oil plantations away from forests and onto already degraded land.
Since 2002, it is estimated that more than 150,000 orangutans have been killed as a direct result of the palm oil industry, and more than 190 threatened species damaged, including tigers, rhinos and elephants.
And if you are someone who loves reeling off facts and figures to friends, then check out this pretty astounding infographic from WRI Indonesia.
Understand today's top environmental news stories in just 3 minutes with curious.earth's weekly newsletter, direct to your inbox.
We just sent you an email. Please click the link in the email to confirm your subscription!