Significantly diminished water quality now joins the host of other risks associated with palm oil plantations.
Researchers from Standford and the University of Minnesota have proven how land clearing, fertilisers, pest sprays and the processing of oil palm fruits has lead to sediment, nutrients and other harmful substances filtering into freshwater streams near plantations.
This has negative implications for fisheries, coastal zones and coral reefs nearby, for local people relying on fresh water and the ecosystem in general.
The research took place around a large Palm Oil plantation site in Gunung Palung National Park in Indonesia.
Palm Oil plantations have long been criticized for their huge contribution to carbon dioxide emissions, the creation of monocultures and dangerous working conditions for labourers.Read more at Stanford University, University of Minnesota