Palm oil industry; The silent factor of climate change

If we stop consuming fossil fuels tomorrow, we will still have huge problems preventing climate change. One of these problems is industrial production Palm oil Or palm oil; One of the most common foods found in many homes.

In September 2015, just months before the signing of the Paris Climate Agreement, several massive wildfires broke out in the forests of Sumatra, Indonesia and Borneo. These massive fires darkened the skies of Southeast Asia and threatened the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. At the time, more than 2.6 million hectares of forest had been burned by fire, and the fire subsided in October. These fires were equal to the total greenhouse gases produced in Germany in the same year.

The extinction of tropical forests, home to many endangered species, such as orangutans, was a major threat to the region’s biodiversity; But in fact, the undergrowth of the forest has the greatest impact on the climate. Pumice is a dense soil-like substance composed of biodegradable matter that accumulates in thousands of swamp-like swamps. This material, especially in the tropics, can develop as a huge carbon reservoir several meters deep.

Pollen grains around the world store more than 550 gigatonnes (billions of tons) of carbon worldwide. This makes up 42% of the carbon stored in the planet’s soil; Thousands of hectares make up less than 5% of the earth’s surface area. Not to mention that Indonesia is also the source of the largest and most densely populated areas around the world.

Much of Indonesia’s vast tropical forest (the world’s third largest tropical forest) has grown in the thousands. These soils are inherently wet and retain decomposing plants; But when forests are destroyed to plant palm trees, the bushes dry out and release a lot of carbon into the Earth’s atmosphere. Almost all palm trees around the world grow in areas that were once tropical humid forests.

Indonesia Plains

Indonesian puddles are a huge source of carbon

The extent of Indonesia’s forest fires is a warning to the world, and shows that solving the climate problem goes far beyond abandoning fossil fuels or using clean energy. Contexts are also important. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, pollution from land use, including agriculture and deforestation, and the loss of thousands of shrubs account for nearly a quarter of global gas emissions.

The 2015 wildfires made Indonesia the world’s fourth-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, after China, the United States and India. Fire conditions in tropical forests are much rarer than in temperate forests. The problem is that the palm tree is a non-native plant brought to Indonesia from West Africa and is more suitable for dry lands. With the increase in the planting of palm trees in Rio, North Sumatra, and Central Kalmanten since the 1990s, canals have been created to drain the land, which has endangered thousands.

Stephanie Searle“Palm or palm oil is on the rise more than any other plant in the tropics and carbon-rich embankments,” said the International Transport Association’s Fuel Program Director. “These effects are enormous for the global climate.” Palm oil has been one of Indonesia’s main exports since 1990.

The industry covers 8.6 million hectares of land in Indonesia, the size of the Republic of Ireland. These fields produce 43 million tons of oil, which is 58% of total world production. These oils are consumed both domestically and exported to various regions including Europe, USA, India and China.

Anisa Rahmawati“Palm oil is a major factor in deforestation,” said Jakarta Jungle Forest activist Mighty Earth. “Inadequate law enforcement has created a situation that destroys the environment and is to the detriment of the people.” According to statistics, deforestation in 2020 has decreased by 70% from its peak in 2016. Numerous non-profit and governmental organizations also recovered and wetted thousands of hectares of puddles.

Also in 2018, Indonesia imposed bans on planting new palm trees. However, not all of these actions were permanent; Because there is still not enough transparency and accountability in the palm oil industry. Also, the ban on planting palm trees expired in September 2021 and was not renewed.

Palm oil industry

The expansion of the palm oil industry means the destruction of thousands of pollen grains and the release of carbon into the air

The fires of 2015 were in many ways the worst case scenario. That year saw a relatively strong El Niوo phenomenon that brought dry weather to much of Indonesia. After the fire reached the basements, it became very difficult to put it out; So that the puddles burned for weeks and were extinguished only by rain.

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The massive scale of the fires was a warning to Indonesia. Following the UN Climate Conference in 2015, Indonesia announced its climate commitment to reduce forest pollution by 66 to 90 percent by 2030. To support this decision, جوکووی ویدودوIn 2016, the President of Indonesia established the BRG. The organization’s task was to rehabilitate nearly 1.7 million hectares of mangroves inside the contract area (including palm fields) and 900,000 hectares of mangroves outside the area by 2020.

BRG and other organizations committed to rehabilitating thousands are facing a major challenge. Thousands are extremely fragile; As a result, working quickly to recover them can be futile. Newman Suriadputra“If we act late to rehabilitate the thousands, we will not be able to do it,” said Indonesia, an international wetland consultant. “When the issue of biomaterials is raised, the ecosystem changes and it will no longer be possible to revitalize it.”

The International Wetlands Organization of Indonesia has been working to rehabilitate thousands of palm trees in some provinces since the 1990s. The organization’s latest project began in 2019, which involves working with 350 households in North Sumatra Province to rehabilitate palm groves around villages.

Many Indonesian communities use thousands of pollen not only to plant palm trees, but also to grow crops such as rice and corn and root vegetables, on which their income depends. The BRG has achieved almost one of its goals, which is to rehabilitate 835,288 hectares of thousands of acres. Nevertheless, it has failed in its other goal, which is to regenerate thousands of hectares in monopolies, and has recovered only 390,000 hectares from the 1.7 million hectare target.

Earlier this year, another task was assigned to the BRG, and it has now been renamed the Bruneral Horn and Tree Rehabilitation Organization (BRGM). The new task of the company is to rehabilitate 600,000 hectares of hornbeam trees and 1.2 million hectares of shrubs by the end of 2024.

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