As palm oil gains more popularity across the globe, its demand has tremendously increased. Its source palm trees, now face the challenge of palm oil deforestation.
The appetite for palm oil is now hurting the environment and wildlife. So, can the industry still progress while protecting our environment?
Here is how to go about it.
Having RSPO certified palm oil plantations
Some palm oil-producing countries rely on it as one of their cash crops. Indonesia, Malaysia, Congo, Benin, South-Western Gabon, just to mention a few. Such countries have palm trees grow in various parts of their countries, leading to adverse effects on the environment.
RSPO (Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil) is one of the sustainability programs that safeguard vulnerable communities. They properly define the standards for the plantations including social-economic and environmental aspects.
Adopting a good agricultural practice
The production of palm oils emits a lot of carbon gasses. Such gases are harmful to the environment. Planting of Palm trees should only be on reusable agricultural land to minimize the output’s adverse effects.
Abiding by the standard set guidelines of palm oils
Various organizations are in charge of palm oil production, such as Rainforest Alliance and the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB). Such organizations have set standards that discourage deforestation, rain forest clearance, and slash and burn.
Abiding by the established guidelines will ensure that palm oil production runs without much cutting of trees, hence conserving our environment.
Minimizing the use of pesticides
Both the small plant owners and big plantation owners should be discouraged against the use of pesticides. All those who have such plantations should strive for a minimum impact on the environment. Educating the farmers and involving the government in such issues will significantly ensure that the rules are clearly stated and observed.
In conclusion, palm oil remains a better alternative compared to other vegetable oils. Unlike other vegetable oils, palm oil production only needs a small piece of land to produce a lot of fat. Avoiding or boycotting palm oil products is not a solution to deforestation.
Entities across the globe including the World Bank and European Commission now recognize the issue of deforestation. They are striving to ensure that they can sustain the demand without further cutting down forests. Governments, NGO’S and all relevant stakeholders are called upon to cooperate in achieving sustainable palm oil production without also destroying forests.