Infographic: Palm Oil and Tropical Deforestation

Palm oil is driving deforestation—with serious consequences for both climate and biodiversity.

We need tropical forests

“Tropical forests play a crucial role in stabilizing the earth’s climate, storing vastly more carbon dioxide (CO2) than forests in the world’s temperate regions. A 2011 study estimated total carbon stored by the earth’s tropical forests at 271 billion tons—that’s about 7 times the total carbon emissions from fossil fuel use in the year 2008.

“In addition, tropical forests play host to millions of species, comprising about two-thirds of the earth’s terrestrial biodiversity.

“But tropical forests are being cut down for palm oil…

“Palm oil acreage worldwide increased from 15 million acres in 1990 to 40 million acres in 2011. Much of this new palm oil acreage is coming at the expense of tropical forests.”  From:

GR:  If we reduce demand for palm oil and insist that it comes from “sustainable” sources, we can eliminate further deforestation for palm oil plantations.  However, the growing human population will continue to need palm oil and oil from other vegetable sources for food.  Without a check on human population, only remnants of our tropical forests will survive into the 22nd century. Wildlife and wild plants of the forests will be replaced by some form of agriculture. For more on this critical subject, go to: and


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