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Rainforest cleared for oil palm plantations in Borneo. Wakx/Flickr

Palm oil continues to destroy Indonesia’s wildlife

How do the products we buy affect the world’s rainforests? In the lead up to the Asia-Pacific Rainforest Summit held in Sydney this week, The Conversation is running a series on rainforest commodities…
Where the rainforest meets the plantation: there are probably a lot more insects. Ryan Woo for Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR)

Palm oil plantations are bad for wildlife great and small: study

Palm oil plantations have an overall negative impact on biodiversity, according to research released this week. The study, published in Nature Communications, found palm oil plantations are home to fewer…
Changing corporate attitudes are giving orangutans and other endangered species in Indonesia’s rainforests more hope of survival. Flickr/Austronesian Expeditions

How global forest-destroyers are turning over a new leaf

Indonesia is the world’s biggest destroyer of forests and four multinational corporations — APP, APRIL, Wilmar and Golden Agri Resources — have been responsible for much of it. Until recently these mega-corporations…
Sustainable palm oil production should have local consent: often, it doesn’t. Rainforest Action Network

Sustainable palm oil must consider people too

Businesses, government and civil society met this month in Medan, Indonesia, for the 11th annual Roundtable meeting on sustainable palm oil. While orangutan conservation organisations dominated conversations…
Once majestic low-lying rainforests, Indonesia’s peatlands now emit around 1 billion tonnes of CO2 a year. H Dragon/flickr

Indonesia sets a carbon time-bomb

One of the world’s major terrestrial carbon pools is rapidly deteriorating as large parts of Indonesia’s peatlands are deforested and converted to oil palm and paper plantations. No longer a carbon sink…
Who’s hands is palm oil really in? World Bank Photo Collection

Two ways to value sustainable palm oil

What is the value of sustainable palm oil? For some, it is the conservation of tropical forests and wildlife in highly biodiverse regions. For others, it is US$3. That’s the latest price of certificates…
Greg Hunt will face hurdles in his plan to stop rainforest logging, but there is much he could do now. Rainforest Action Network

Hunt’s direct action on rainforest could reap carbon rewards

Opposition environment spokesman Greg Hunt’s ambition to broker a new global rainforest recovery plan reopens an important conversation about Australia’s role in tackling tropical deforestation. And it…
Knocking down forests and planting palm oil makes sense in Asia. Providing alternative income sources for villagers could make it less attractive. Simon J. Rowntree

Forestry, economic development & climate change in Asia: resolving the tension

Reducing poverty in developing countries through economic development is often contrary to addressing climate change. In countries like Indonesia, many of the strongest drivers of the economy – palm oil…
Primary forest is best for biodiversity, but we should also look at second-best. cknara/Flickr

Original and the best: nothing beats primary forests for biodiversity

We live in an age of vanishing rainforests. Half of the world’s tropical forests have disappeared since World War II and roughly another 10 million hectares are being felled each year — the equivalent…
Environmental activists have targeted palm oil – an industry crucial to Indonesia’s development. AAP

Big NGOs should stop monkeying around and get tougher on the West

In 1990 there were about 400 international environmental groups. Today, this number is more like 1.4 million. So why is the world apparently in a worse state now? Have environmental groups paid too much…
Informative labelling can put us on the road to ethical choices. AAP

Want to avoid palm oil? You need a label

The most important factor determining whether consumers avoid purchasing a product containing palm oil is not how they feel about orangutans, the environment, or anything else for that matter. It’s whether…

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