PRODUCTION ON THE RISE.
In Papua New Guinea, production increased by nearly 20% between 2011 and 2016. The Global Forest Watch reports that the nation experienced “70 per cent more tree cover loss in 2015 than in any [other] year on record”
90% of palm oil comes from Malaysia and Indonesia but predicted future hotspots include Nigeria and Cameroon. Orangutans, gibbons and tigers are among the 193 threatened species on the IUCN’s Red List that would be affected by the continued expansion of oil palm plantations into forest areas — a menagerie of biodiversity representing half of the world’s threatened mammals and almost two-thirds of threatened birds.
HOW YOU ARE HELPING.
By partnering with Cool Earth, you are giving communities the choice to say no and keep forest standing. In Papua New Guinea, as palm plantations encroach further on the forest, your support is becoming more vital than ever. Instead of being tempted to take the cash offered, Cool Earth’s partnerships are able to develop incomes that work alongside the forest, not against it.
We can also make sustainable choices in our daily lives. More sustainable palm oil production does exist, but it’s more expensive. On a global level, there are many organisations working hard to regulate and improve the deforestation issues surrounding palm oil. But after 15 years only 17% of all palm oil produced is able to be labelled ‘certified sustainable palm oil’.
Consumer pressure is the only thing that will make producers consider more sustainable practices. Check labels, ask questions, and look for RSPO certified palm oil, whose producers must adhere to strict guidelines. This, and working alongside rainforest communities, are the ways we can stop unsustainable palm production destroying tropical rainforest any further.