Negative Effects of Palm Oil on Our Environment

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Produced from the fruit of oil palm tree, palm oil is a kind of an edible vegetable oil which is grown in Asia, Africa, North America and South America.  Besides its use as cooking oil, palm oil is also used for personal care products, commercial foods as well as a biofuel.

Despite its benefits and uses, it is being scrutinized all around the world due to its negative impact on our environment.  Not only does it kill or reduce the forest land but also has led to human and animal population displacement and disruption. To know more about the negative effects of palm oil on the environment, you can go through the following given information.

negative effects of palm oil on our environment

  • A huge proportion of the production and expansion of palm oil happens by harming the biodiversity and at the expense of the ecosystems in the nations in which it is produced. Indonesia and Malaysia are the largest producers of palm oil and it is a fact that about one third of the mammal species in these countries are declared endangered due to the unsustainable development of this product.
  • Orangutan is one animal who has suffered the most due to the production process of palm oil around the world. It is shocking to know that over 90% of the orangutan population has been destroyed in the last 2 decades due to palm oil production and this has been named as an emergency situation by the UN.  About 1000-5000 orangutans are killed each year due to this reason and this further affects the health of the ecosystem.
  • Due to palm oil production, deforestation is caused which is one of the most serious negative impacts this has on the environment. Deforestation leads to climate change and that is a contributing factor in global warming.  What happens is that for the production of palm oil, native forests are removed which involves burning of timber and this leads to emission of many harmful gases into the environment.
  • Due to this deforestation, not only is the environment greatly affected but also, several species of animals are being killed each year. It is a fact that over 300000 different animals in Sumatra and Borneo have been displaced, injured or killed.  This is causing a major wildlife crisis in these parts of the world.
  • Some other animals which are affected greatly due to palm oil production are Sun Bear, Sumatran Tiger, Sumatran Rhinoceros, Leopards, Monkeys and Pygmy elephant.
  • Palm oil production negatives also reach the humans who too are an important part of the overall ecosystem or environment. In the areas where the production takes place, devastating effects take place on the humans and their civilization. The industry not only displaces people of their natural environments but also leads to child labor which is a strict violation of human rights.

To avoid these negative effects, the practice of sustainable palm oil production can be done which does not harm people or cause any negative side effects. Thus everyone must make efforts to spread the message of sustainable palm oil production.

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