Tropical deforestation and forest fires: what's the role of palm oil?

New EPOA factsheet

The factsheet presents the role of palm oil in tropical deforestation and forest fires. Palm oil is heavily debated as a major driver of deforestation and forest fires. However, sustainable palm oil contributes to better managed plantations that protect high conservation forests and reduce the risk for fires.

Based on FAO’s Global Forest Resource Assessment 2015 it was estimated that palm oil's contribution to global tropical deforestation is around 5%. Deforestation figures were calculated on tropical forest loss between 1990 and 2015 in the top 20 most forested tropical countries. 11% of the forest fires in 2016 in Indonesia were recorded on palm oil concessions. These data are retrieved from the Global Forest Watch. The figures show that deforestation and forest fires must be addressed on an aggregated level, including palm oil and other drivers of deforestation. Buying more sustainable palm oil is a good step towards the protection of tropical forests.

The figures presented are also in line with other articles and studies that indicate that palm oil is not the sole driver of deforestation such as the union of concerned scientists and Climate Focus.

The factsheet can be downloaded here.



Laatst gewijzigd: 22 maart 2017