You are on page 1of 6

Maria Caridad Garzon

PALM OIL ISSUE


The tropical rain forest is a hot, moist biome located in areas of year-round warmth near the earths equator. It has a constant rain fall each year, the average humidity goes between 77% to 88% . Tropical rainforests receives an annual precipitation from 60 to 160 distributed all year round. There are certain seasons when rain is less. Rainforest belong to the tropical wet climate group. Temperature in these places vary from higher than 34 C or can drops below 20 C. It occurs under optimal growing conditions as it owns the combination of constant warmth and abundant moisture creating a perfect suitable environment for different species of plants and animals. This is the main reason why tropical rainforest is the earths most complex biome, containing over 15 million species of animals and plants living in here. In the tropical rainforest there doesn't exists an annual rhythm instead each specie has developed its own flowering and fruiting seasons. As the forest is covered with talls trees it does not allow sunlight reach everyplace. This makes sunlight a limiting factors and species living in here need to adapt to the low intensity of light. The majority of the tropical rainforest are located near the equator line. In central America in the Amazon River Basin. In Africa Congo River Basin, also eastern Madagascar. In the Indian west coast, Indo-Malaysia, Southeast Asia, New Guinea and Queensland in Australia.

TROPICAL RAINFOREST LOCATION

Tropical Rainforest are considered the lungs of the planet. They provide about 40% of Earths

oxygen and absorbs massive quantities of carbon dioxide. More than half of all the world's plant and animal species live in tropical rain forests. About 6% of the Earths surface is covered by Rainforests. However years ago they occupied at least 14% of the worlds land surface. The reduction in tropical rainforest is preoccupying, each time they are starting to disappear faster and faster. Scientists confirm that in about 40 years or less we are going to lose all our rainforests left. Industrial and developing countries are not appreciating the value of them and soon they will start facing serious consequences, about one and one- half acres of rainforest are being lost every second. Since remote times land has always been appreciated with an incredible value. Governments, multinational logging companies and landowners are destroying rainforest in order to obtain land and build industries that could produce them a rental income. A huge variety of approximately 137 plants, animals and insects species are being lost day by day because of rainforest deforestation. This sums up to about 50,000 species a year. Rainforest are disappearing faster and faster, cleared by chainsaws, bulldozers and fires in order to start farming and ranching operations this includes big industries as Mitsubishi Corporation, Georgia Pacific, Texaco and Unocal. The Amazonian rainforest used to be five centuries ago, the home of ten million Indians, nowadays only 200,000 or less are left. European tribes in Brazil have been destroying more than 90 different indigenous tribes since the 1900's. Not only rainforests are disappearing also everything that is in it, as their people, species and multiple medicinal knowledge. Shamans living in the rainforest own a huge quantity of knowledge and wisdom, each time a man dies it is considered as a whole library has burned down. The rate of rainforests disappearing increases year by year, it is believed that by 2025 more than half of the current forest will be gone and by 2060 they will be entirely cleared out. Palm oil is a type of vegetable oil which comes from the fruit given by the palm oil tree. This oil is really important for food and non food industries as it is used constantly as a raw material. Palm oil originally were born on the Western African continent however they own a very rare and special characteristic which allows them flourish wherever area of abundant heat and rainfall. They are able to grow in the tropical areas of Asia, Africa and South America. The production of palm oil have been expanding more and more each time as its global demand has increased significantly. The top nations producing palm oil are Indonesia, Malaysia, Colombia, Thailand, Nigeria, and Colombia. Malaysia and Indonesia are where palm oil is mostly produced nowadays. Palm oil follows a complex series of steps in order to reach to the final refined oil as we know it. It produces two types of oil; palm oil from the flesh of the fruit, and palm kernel oil from the seed or kernel. At first the process is at the mill where it can be extracted from the fruit. This crude oil the is refined and a various quantity of good products are created. Within this, it requires more specialized treatment as fractionating, or using simple crystallization and

separation processes to obtain the perfect properties which allows them to use it in any product from the outside.

Orangutans are the hairy primates originally native to Indonesia and Malaysia. These extremely clever creatures are the worlds largest tree climbing mammal. They are known specially because of their likeness to the human kind. They live among the talls trees of the tropical rainforest. Day by day their home has been threatened by humans slashing and burning trees in order to make a way for oil palm plantations. During the process hundreds of orangutans are left with no home, no food and most of the times they even die. Around 1900 a total number of approximately 315000 orangutans were found worldwide, nowadays only 50000 are left in the wild. Within 12 years the production of palm oil will cause the extinction of orangutans whatsoever. Palm oil is one of the most needed supply for our daily life. Also known as vegetable oil, it has several uses as making bread, cereals, washing powder, soaps and even cosmetics, which makes it a constantly demanded raw material as it is found day by day in its derivatives. Palm oil demand has been increasing brutally during the past years, in the United States palm oil production has risen up to 485% percent. Its special properties as being solid at room temperature and being significantly cheaper and effective makes palm oil so special worldwide.

The increasing demand of palm oil has led to a significant increase on palm oil plantations among tropical rain forests. The pushing demand brings more and more production each time leading to tropical rain forests severe destruction. Malaysia and Indonesia are where the majority of the palm oil is being produced. Malaysia accounts for 39 % of world palm oil production and 44% of world exports. Indonesia is one of the worlds largest palm oil producer which has produced about 21 million tons. Production increases about 400% each year, and exports 60% of production. Over millions of hectares of rainforest have been removed in order to make up palm oil plantations. Deforestation increases as the industry has more demands. Usually palm oil was only produced for the use in food and cosmetics, nowadays scientists are proving how it can be used as a source of fuel for transport. Specially the European Union who needs to cut greenhouse gases by 2020. Palm oil is considered a bio-fuel as it doesn't generates pollution however it kills the vast majority of the most valuable rainforest on planet. During these process hundreds of plants and animals are left with no home nor food. About 98% of the Indonesian forest is expected to be gone by 2022. Currently we can find a total of 55,000 to 60,000 orangutans, 5000 to 10,000 orangutans are killed each year.

People from all over the world are being disrupted by palm oil plantations. This happens when the rights and livelihoods of local communities are ignored. Doesn't only affect the people, as well it impacts the companies involved not allowing them to keep expanding as planned. As we may know palm oil is a source of income to both Malaysia and Indonesia, it creates revenues and offers a big quantity of employment. Palm oil plantation has been built as well in place where indigenous people where previously used the land for traditional practices. Industry forces indigenous people to contribute with land without respecting their rights. The environmental impact palm oil plantation has caused during years embraces soil erosion, air, water and soil pollution, climate change without mentioning the endangered species. Soil erosion happens during forest clearing as the soil is left uncovered. Planting trees in rows also contributes to soil erosion. These problems are expensive to fix. The burning of forests to clear land creates massive amounts of pollution, this affected workers health and also contributed to climate change. Forest fires release big amounts of CO2, in 1997 indonesia was rate one biggest source of co2 emissions worldwide. Effluent is generated from processing the palm oil in mills, about 2,5 metric tonnes are generated. the release of this effluent immediately cause freshwater pollution and soil production which affect the biodiversity and people as a whole. Rainforest are being cleared out in order to have more land for palm oil plantation. Orangutans keep dying as they are losing their homes, and their families. Each time orangutans keep

disappearing, in about 12 years they can become extinct. Not only orangutans face this problem as well millions of species living among the tropical rainforests which at the end are also part of the food chain. Conservation refers to the action of trying to keep alive the tropical rainforest by applying variety of methods. In this case conserving the tropical rainforests means stopping the clear out and try to maintain them aside from palm oil plantations and pollution, bad treatment, or burning. Every hour we lose 6000 acres of rainforest land where trees are being cut down. The animals and other species that lived within these forests are destroyed and some even at risk of getting extinct. By doing this the world is losing a huge part of its uniqueness and unbalancing the earth's ecosystem. rainforest are known as the lungs of the world as they provide oxygen cleaning the atmosphere as let us breathe. Very valuable medicinal plants are found among rainforests, they can save many lives. Rainforest should be conserved for years on due to the fact they are an important source of natural resources to all human beings.

Sustainability means to be able to know that our existence fully depends on our natural environment, by knowing this being able to find the perfect balance between the social, economic and the environmental aspects the use of resources provided that the human beings need for their survival. This has as its main purpose to keep these aspects constant living a harmonious life therefore a bright future can be built that won't lack any resource and will be appropriate for future generations. This refers to be able to use something without the necessity of destroying it by the end and will last for a long time. Palm oil plantations should be managed responsibly without getting over the top. Forest can be used effectively without damaging or putting in risk the environment. A way this can be done is by not allowing industries to clear out the entire forests, instead only what its needed. After the process news trees should be planted. More reserves and parks should be built, where logging and hunting is not allowed. Stop encouraging animals traffic by not buying these animals. Be aware of the products that we consume and doing it in a responsible way, make sure companies are committed to be safe also reduce, recycle and reuse. The future is uncertain, no one knows what will happen in a couple of years from now on. Maybe we will need to make up our mistakes and change by force the way we treat our home, and the resources it provides for us. Anyway it is never too late to start doing things right. Rainforest are essential in our lives, they provides us food, medicine, shelter, even fresh oxygen the one we can't live without. The resources provided for us currently won't last forever, we need to learn to use them effectively and sustainably. Orangutans are suffering because of our fault, but there is still the chance to act as a community and stop them from disappearing

forever. Rainforest should be taken care as well as the living things inside it, as they all form part of the environment. Palm oil has been really useful in our lives, therefore its production should not stop. Palm oil plantations need to be under control, and be managed responsibly. A way this can be done is by not clearing large pieces of land, just the necessary. Stop encouraging industries by buying palm oil products, demand transparency as well. We should all take care of the resources our habitat provides us so future generations can still enjoy them as we do.

SOURCES http:/www.rainforestconservation.org/ http://www.rspo.org/ http://www.greenpalm.org/ http://www.ask.com/question/how-fast-are-the-rainforests-being-destroyed http://www.saynotopalmoil.com/palm-oil.php http://akshayalipids.com/Images/premiumoils/palmoil/palm2.png http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/endangered_species/great_apes/orangutans/ http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org/rainforest.htm http://www.rain-tree.com/facts.htm#.UQ-sIr9EHZ4 http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/forests/palm-oil http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/footprint/agriculture/palm_oil/ http://www.epa.gov/sustainability/basicinfo.htm http://ran.org/sites/default/files/po_factsheet.pdf http://www.mpoc.org.my/Malaysian_Palm_Oil_Industry.aspx