Palm Oil Plantations Wrecking Asian Rainforests

Palm oil, listed as, “vegetable oil,” in many supermarket food products is responsible for cultures, ecosystems, and animals, like the orangutan, tiger, and sun bears being pushed to extinction, and the problem is getting worse.

In the rush to profit from this cheap food and biodiesel-producing plant, palm oil plantations are replacing the biodiversity of co2-sopping rain forests at an alarming rate. The logging and replanting of the rainforests in Indonesia and Malaysia displace indigenous plants, people, and animals; contributes to greenhouse gases because of burning; causes water pollution because of erosion; and fosters political and corporate corruption as people place profit above sustenance.

Addressing the complex problems of rain forest deforestation is a challenge. On one hand, a governmental push toward ‘modernization,’ views preservation of the rainforests as a luxury that palm-oil producing countries cannot afford. On the other hand, the rest of the world is all too happy to consume palm oil as well as rainforest wood products, so fails to recognize and actively address the destruction.

Worldwide political solutions to address rainforest destruction would be highly beneficial, but governments are cumbersome and unlikely to act in a timely manner. Individuals CAN take meaningful steps to curb the devastation.

Tony Mandarich at Ezine Articles suggests that a four pronged approach of education, worldwide conservation policies, restoration efforts, and the economics of ecotourism might be an effective strategy.

You can sponsor a half-acre of rain forest for about $42us per year, or join the efforts of organizations like United Planet, Save The Rainforest, Inc., i-to-i, Save Your World, World Wildlife Fund, Rainforest Foundation, or Greenpeace to preserve and restore rainforests in Asia and elsewhere on the planet.

References: Paradise Earth|Rainforests.net|Rainforest Information Centre|The Independent

Comments

  1. Reading this today has given me new hope that in a new awareness people might realize how much what we want or do has ramifications. Good luck to you who do not turn away seeing things which maybe in the US we might not see and do something to help change what you see. Congratualtions on being a caring human!!

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