The use of palm oil in many of our everyday products has been causing problems for a long time but according to a recent BBC report, the wheels of change have been set in motion in the Indonesian Palm Oil industry. One of the world's largest palm oil producers, Golden Agri-Resources, has partnered with The Forest Trust to try and protect natural forests that store high amounts of carbon.
Despite the fact the current RSPO (Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil) laws prohibit the destruction of such forests anyway, vast areas of tropical jungle are still being illegally cleared in areas that are particularly vulnerable in terms of conservation. Indonesia particularly, is home to some of the rarest and most endangered species of both plant and animal in the world.
Oil Palm Fruit
By signing this new deal, Golden Agri-Resources is agreeing to do more than the rules of the RSPO suggest, including not planting on natural peat-land, and not clearing old-growth forests where high levels of carbon are trapped in the trees. This will initially apply to any area where more than 35 tonnes of carbon per hectare is stored within the natural landscape.
Although it is disappointing that more emphasis is not being put on protecting the species that inhabit these forests, the agreement is obviously a big step in the right direction. Golden Agri-Resources are the second biggest producer of palm oil in the world, and it is widely hoped that their latest efforts will encourage others to follow suit.
Tropical Rainforest Cover
The palm oil industry however is still responsible for the destruction of vast areas of natural forest on a daily basis. Numerous species across the tropics are under threat from the loss of their natural habitat and other disturbances caused by the illegal farming of trees for cheaper oil. Save the rainforest. Save the orang-utan. Save the world. Sign the petition today.