Industrial palm oil production expands at expense of rainforests in Peru

, 10 January 2012
photo credits: wanderflechten/Flickr

"Intensive palm oil production is expanding at the expense of biolologically-rich lowland rainforests in the Peruvian Amazon, reports a study published in Environmental Research Letters. The research indicates that enthusiasm for oil palm — one of the world's most lucrative crops — is taking a toll on forests outside of Southeast Asia, where the vast majority of palm oil is produced.

The analysis, based on satellite mapping and on-the-ground field studies, found that 72 percent of new plantations in Peru expanded into forest areas. Expansion into forest areas was more common with industrial plantations, rather than low-yield plantations established by smallholders."

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