The insatiable demand for palm oil

Palm oil is one of the world's most popular vegetable oils. It is used in thousands of everyday products, from margarine and bread to lipstick and soap, and is consumed by over a billion people across the world. In Europe and the USA, it can be found in one in 10 supermarket products.

Ninety per cent of the world's palm-oil exports come from the oil-palm plantations of Malaysia and Indonesia. Most of these plantations are on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra.
The production is linked to logging, deforestation, species extinction, human rights abuse and worker exploitation.

Destructive oil-palm plantations will continue to spread, and the forests of SE Asia will continue to be destroyed, unless the governments of the region recognizes the customary land rights of indigenous peoples and local communities. The European and US governments must also legislate to stop their companies from buying products linked to environmental destruction and human rights abuse.

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