2017/08/23

Palm Oil and Gold


Palm oil is extracted from the fruit of the oil palm tree, Elaeis guineensis, which thrives in humid climates. The large majority of palm oil production occurs in just two countries, Malaysia and Indonesia, where huge swaths of tropical forests and peatlands (carbon-rich swamps) are being cleared to make way for oil palm plantations, releasing carbon into the atmosphere to drive global warming while shrinking habitats for a multitude of endangered species. 

The Brazilian president Michel Temer has abolished an Amazonian reserve the size of Denmark, prompting concerns of an influx of mineral companies, road-builders and workers into the species-rich forest. The dissolution of the Renca reserve – which spans 46,000 sq km on the border of the Amapa and Para states – was described by one opposition senator Randolfe Rodrigues of the Sustainability Network party, as the “biggest attack on the Amazon of the last 50 years”.

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