Science Current Events | Science News | Brightsurf.com
 

Oil palm surging source of greenhouse gas emissions

April 27, 2012
Continued expansion of industrial-scale oil palm plantations on the island of Borneo will become a leading cause of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 unless strong forest and peatland protections are enacted and enforced, according to a National Academy of Sciences study.

The study, conducted by Yale and Stanford researchers, found that about two-thirds of lands outside of protected areas in the Ketapang District of West Kalimantan Province in Indonesian Borneo are leased to oil palm agribusiness companies. If these leases are converted to oil palm at current expansion rates, by 2020 monotypic palm stands will occupy more than a third of regional lands and intact forests will decline to less than 5 percent from approximately 15 percent in 2008.

The researchers were surprised to learn that 50 percent of oil palm plantations were established on peatlands through last year. When peat soils are drained for oil palm cultivation, they begin to release carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. The study found that if oil palm expansion continues, with no restrictions on peatland development, almost 90 percent of oil palm's greenhouse gas emissions will come from peatlands by 2020.

"Preventing oil palm establishment on peatlands will be critical for any greenhouse gas emissions-reduction strategy," said Kimberly Carlson, a doctoral candidate at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and co-author of the study with Lisa Curran, a professor of anthropology at Stanford University.

Carlson pointed out that even if future oil palm expansion is halted in forests and peatlands, greenhouse gas emissions will decline by only 3 percent to 4 percent. She said that instead of simply placing a moratorium on oil palm expansion, "protecting secondary and logged forests, as well as peatlands, is the strategy that most effectively reduces carbon emissions and maintains forest cover."

The researchers argue that regional emissions could be reduced by up to 21 percent by 2020 through the prevention of oil palm encroachment, wildfire, logging, and agricultural expansion on intact and previously logged forested lands and peatlands. But even in the best-case scenario for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, 28 percent of 1 million acres of community lands will be converted to oil palm.

"Unfortunately forest and peatland protection does not automatically generate benefits for local communities," said Curran. "To become truly sustainable, oil palm companies must not only protect existing forests and carbon stocks, but should ensure that any land acquired from resident smallholder farmers and communities meets the criteria for free, prior and informed consent, and is equitably and transparently compensated."

Incorporating people, forests and carbon in their assessment required building a spatially explicit simulation model from scratch. The researchers started with a model of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon developed by co-author Britaldo Soares-Filho and his team, and rebuilt it for the drastically different environment of Indonesian Borneo.

Palm oil is a form of edible vegetable oil used in many products, including cookies, crackers, popcorn, frozen dinners, low-fat dairy, candy, soap and cosmetics. Indonesia, currently the global leader in palm-oil production, aims to increase the area for oil palm cultivation to 45 million acres by 2020 from 24 million acres in 2009, yet little is known about the influence of oil palm expansion on people and ecosystems.

"Early on we decided to include people in our assessment," said Carlson. "Local residents and their lands are often forgotten in conversations about forests."

###

The study, "Committed Carbon Emissions Deforestation, and Community Land Conversion from Oil Palm Plantation Expansion in West Kalimantan, Indonesia," was funded by the Natural Aeronautics and Space Administration's Land Cover/Land-Use Change Program, John D. and Catherine T. McArthur Foundation, National Science Foundation, East-West Center, and Stanford and Yale universities.

Yale University


Related Oil Palm Current Events and Oil Palm News Articles


Malaysia's 'Smart Villages' and 9 other proven ideas for sustainable development
As nations zero in on the UN's post-2015 global Sustainable Development Goals, innovations being successfully pioneered and demonstrated in Malaysia offer several proven tactical ideas for improving the world, says an influential international sustainable development networking organization.

Newly identified gene provides reliable visual cue for oil palm fruit ripeness
A genetic discovery by a team of scientists from the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB), aided by scientists from Orion Genomics, paves the way for increased production of palm oil, which accounts for 45 percent of the world's edible oil, while also helping to conserve sensitive wild habitats at risk of being turned into agricultural land.

'Insect soup' holds DNA key for monitoring biodiversity
Research published today in the journal Ecology Letters shows that a process known as 'metabarcoding' is much faster than and just as reliable as standard biodiversity datasets assembled with traditional labour-intensive methods.

Hunting pushing central African forests toward ecological collapse
Scientists from the Universities of Stirling, Oxford, Queensland and the Wildlife Conservation Society warn that current hunting trends in Central African forests could result in complete ecological collapse.

Threatened frogs palmed off as forests disappear
Oil palm plantations in Malaysia are causing threatened forest frogs to disappear, paving the way for common species to move in on their turf, scientists have revealed.

Study shows resources giveaway in Latin America; Outdated model tramples human rights, environment
A new study reveals that governments in Latin America have returned to natural resources extraction to fuel development-while paying scant attention to the impact mining, oil exploration and other activities have on the environment or on the people who own the land.

The natural ecosystems in the Colombian Orinoco Basin are in danger
The Orinoco River flows from the Andes in Colombia to the Atlantic in Venezuela. The area of the basin includes landscapes of the Andes, plains of the Llanos and the Guiana shield.

New reports: African governments giving land away quickly, recognizing land rights slowly
While African governments are moving gradually towards protecting the land rights of rural people and indigenous communities, they are moving quickly to give away community forests and other lands for development.

As Amazon urbanizes, rural fires burn unchecked
Over past decades, many areas of the forested Amazon basin have become a patchwork of farms, pastures and second-growth forest as people have moved in and cleared land--but now many are moving out, in search of economic opportunities in newly booming Amazonian cities.

Palm Oil Massive Source of Carbon Dioxide
Expanding production of palm oil, a common ingredient in processed foods, soaps and personal care products, is driving rainforest destruction and massive carbon dioxide emissions, according to a new study by Yale and Stanford researchers.
More Oil Palm Current Events and Oil Palm News Articles

The Oil Palm

The Oil Palm
by R. H. V. Corley (Author), P. B. H. Tinker (Author)


The oil palm is the world's most valuable oil crop. With palm oil production increasing by more than 50% in the last decade of the twentieth century and set to double in the next twenty years, it has never before been so important to understand the history, use and cultivation of this fascinating crop.

There have been many new developments since the third edition of The Oil Palm in 1988, particularly in the fields of clonal propagation, agronomy, breeding and molecular genetics. This new edition has been completely rewritten, and is the first book to record and explore these and many other developments.

The book traces the origins and progress of the industry, and describes the basic science underlying the physiology, breeding and nutrition of the oil palm. It covers both...

The Palm Oil Miracle

The Palm Oil Miracle
by Fife Bruce (Author)


Palm oil has been used as both a food and a medicine for thousands of years. It was prized by the pharaohs of ancient Egypt as a sacred food. Today palm oil is the most widely used oil in the world. In tropical Africa and Southeast Asia it is an integral part of a healthy diet just as olive oil is in the Mediterranean. Palm oil possesses excellent cooking properties. It is more heat stable than other vegetable oils and imparts in foods and baked goods superior taste, texture, and quality. Palm oil is one of the world’s healthiest oils. As a natural vegetable oil, it contains no trans fatty acids or cholesterol. It is currently being used by doctors and government agencies to treat specific illnesses and improve nutritional status. Recent medical studies have shown that palm oil,...

The Palm Oil Controversy in Southeast Asia: A Transnational Perspective

The Palm Oil Controversy in Southeast Asia: A Transnational Perspective
by Oliver Pye (Editor), Jayati Bhattacharya (Editor)


"This engaged and vital edited volume brings together the varied viewpoints of academics, consultants and activists all concerned with the astonishing expansion of palm oil as a globally traded commodity. It reveals how this complex, contested and controversial expression of globalization transcends narrow national and sectoral interests, stimulating a transnational exchange of goods, capital and labour, as well as laws, norms, values and even understanding. Compelling, readable and insightful, the study shows that corporate responses to civil society's concerns about palm oil's role in global warming, human rights abuses, land grabbing and biodiversity loss, now need to be complemented by legal, regulatory and governance reforms to be effective." - Marcus Colchester, Director, Forest...

The Paleo Approach: Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Heal Your Body

The Paleo Approach: Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Heal Your Body
by Sarah Ballantyne (Author), Robb Wolf (Foreword)


An estimated 50 million Americans suffer from some form of autoimmune disease. If you're among them, you may know all too well how little modern medicine can do to alleviate your condition. But that's no reason to give up hope. In this groundbreaking book, Sarah D. Ballantyne, Ph.D., draws upon current medical research and her own battle with an autoimmune disorder to show you how you can become completely symptom-free—the natural way.

The Paleo Approach is the first book ever to explain how to adapt the Paleo diet and lifestyle to bring about a full recovery. Read it to learn why foods marketed as "healthy"—such as whole grains, soy, and low-fat dairy—can contribute to the development of autoimmune conditions. Discover what you can eat to calm your immune system, reduce...

The Coconut Oil Miracle, 5th Edition

The Coconut Oil Miracle, 5th Edition
by Bruce Fife (Author)


A completely revised and updated guide for maximizing the health and beauty benefits of coconut oil
 
For years, The Coconut Oil Miracle has been a reliable guide for men and women alike. Now in its fifth edition, this revised and updated version has even more information on the benefits of coconut oil and shows readers how to use it for maximum effect, including a nutrition plan with 50 delicious recipes. Coconut oil is much more than just a fad. It is a uniquely curative elixir that has been shown to have countless health benefits.

When taken as a dietary supplement, used in cooking, or applied directly to the skin, coconut oil has been found to:
  Promote weight loss Help prevent heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, Alzheimer's,...

The Oil Painting Course You've Always Wanted: Guided Lessons for Beginners and Experienced Artists

The Oil Painting Course You've Always Wanted: Guided Lessons for Beginners and Experienced Artists
by Kathleen Lochen Staiger (Author)


Everything you always wanted to know about oil painting...but were afraid to ask. Or maybe you weren’t afraid—maybe you just didn’t know what to ask or where to start. In The Oil Painting Course You’ve Always Wanted, author Kathleen Staiger presents crystal clear, step-by-step lessons that build to reinforce learning. Brush control, creating the illusion of three dimensions, foolproof color mixing, still-life painting, landscapes, and portraits—every topic is covered in clear text, diagrams, illustrations, exercises, and demonstrations. Staiger has taught oil painting for more than thirty-five years; many of her students are now exhibiting and selling their paintings. Everyone from beginning hobby painters, to art students, to BFA graduates has questions about oil painting. Here...

Palm Oil and Small Chop

Palm Oil and Small Chop
by John Goble (Author)


A colourful tale of trade and travel in the little-reported post-colonial era in West Africa

The Coconut Oil Miracle

The Coconut Oil Miracle
by Bruce Fife (Author), Jon J. Kabara (Foreword)


The complete, accessible guide to reaping all the health and beauty benefits of coconut oilNatural coconut oil is nature's perfect food. Unlike the hydrogenated versions found in processed food, this uniquely curative elixir has been show to have countless health benefits. When taken as a dietary supplement, used in cooking, or applied directly to the skin, coconut oil has been found to: Promote weight loss Help prevent heart disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and many other degenerative diseases
Strengthen the immune system Improve digestion Prevent premature aging of the skin Beautify skin and hair The Coconut Oil Miracle explains the benefits of coconut oil, and shows readers how to use it for maximum effect. This revised edition of the original,...

The Palm Oil Stain

The Palm Oil Stain
by Nadia Maddy


The Palm Oil Stain is a brutal tale of a woman's journey of love and survival.
Set against the backdrop of the Rebel War in Sierra Leone, Shalimar escapes an attack on her village assisted by a South African mercenary the locals call Chameleon. Displaced in Freetown, Shalimar devises a plan to return home to locate her family while forging an unlikely relationship with Chameleon whose alcoholic abuse has left him bereft of any emotion. Shalimar soon learns her predicament was brought about by the betrayal of those close to her. Shalimar's decision to risk the wrath of the Rebels in the abandoned villages in order to find her family changes the course of her and Chameleon's life forever. The Palm Oil Stain is a deeply moving love story that relays the harsh reality of war, betrayal...

Loving Yourself to Great Health: Thoughts & Food--The Ultimate Diet

Loving Yourself to Great Health: Thoughts & Food--The Ultimate Diet
by Louise Hay (Author), Ahlea Khadro (Author), Heather Dane (Author)


     For decades, best-selling author Louise Hay has transformed people’s lives by teaching them to let go of limiting beliefs. Now in this tour de force, Louise teams up with her go-to natural health and nutrition experts, Ahlea Khadro and Heather Dane, to reveal the other side of her secret to health, happiness, and longevity: living a nutrient-rich life.
     Unlike any health book you’ve ever read, this work transcends fads, trends, and dogma to bring you a simple yet profound system to heal your body, mind, and spirit that is as gentle as changing the way you think. Louise, Ahlea, and Heather show you how to take your health, your moods, and your energy to the next level.
     In Loving Yourself to Great Health, you will:
Tap into the secrets Louise has...

© 2014 BrightSurf.com