We face environmental problems more and more often, and that shouldn’t surprise us anymore. We are the ones who have the most harmful impact on it. It’s sad every time I have to approach these topics and that’s because it reflects the dysfunctional reality we live in. Today I would like to go a little on the subject of palm forests and what impact they have.
Without realizing it, we use palm oil in everything from our beloved Nutella to makeup products. And no one says it’s not good, it even has very good properties. But the major problem is that in order to make room for these palm forests, certain pieces of land must be cleared.
I had recently seen a documentary on TV called The Year Earth Changed, about what happened to nature when we were all in lockdown. Impressive how much they all recovered, from aquatic to terrestrial life. But in this documentary, I saw something worrying.
In India (Assam), elephants still own only 5% of their original territory, and hunger forces them into human agriculture. Both humans and elephants die every day, fighting for “supremacy.” The same happens in the countries where the palm forests are and where the animals are left with less and less territory and less and fewer forests from which to feed. Changing the ecosystem, so drastic and fast, will lead to the loss of many species of animals, which still have low numbers if we look at the statistics for 2021.
According to worldwildlife.org: ”Indonesia and Malaysia produce more than 85% of the world’s palm oil and are the only remaining home to orangutans. Fewer than 80,000 of these animals survive today, their habitats under constant threat of deforestation. […] The elephant population across the island is crashing, with far fewer than 3,000 surviving, as herds are left homeless, harassed and killed due to intense conflict with people over shrinking habitat. […] The smallest in size of Asian elephant subspecies, only 1,500 or so of these pachyderms live on Borneo, an island where palm oil production continues to encroach on their habitat.”
I know that in these countries, the palm oil business is the one that supports their economy and it wouldn’t help if we suddenly gave up consuming palm oil, but this problem of ever-expanding palm forests is something that would we have to worry about. At least reducing its consumption I think would help to keep a balance between the business with this oil and the uncut forest. If we destroy the ecosystem, we are practically destroying ourselves.
The fact that it is being deforested massively also contributes to the climate change we are facing, and the country that suffers the most is not even to blame for this problem, namely Madagascar. This climate change has led to a massive drought so that they have come to consume the insects they catch. The UN warns that by October this year, up to 28,000 people will be affected by famine.
As long as demand grows, then plantations will grow. Each of us needs to think better before choosing what to buy from the supermarket. Very often small actions had a major impact. What if we took responsibility this time too? As I said above, we must not give up this product suddenly and forever, but we must somehow control its consumption.
I hope you liked this article as well, that it sounded a little alarm and that it will make us all a little responsible. As usual, dear readers, I am waiting for you in the comments section with your opinions or even with suggestions related to the topic. See you next Sunday with another interesting article.
Sources: The Year Earth Change – documentary by David Attenborough, worldwildlife.org, ianca.net