Impact Of The Palm Oil Industry On Species Diversity

The palm oil industry has infiltrated products in different areas of the world. Some products that incorporate palm oil are food, biofuel, and cosmetics. To produce such products, the oil palm tree (Elaeis guineensis Jacq.) is grown on a massive scale in a biodiversity-rich tropical environment. This tree has grown to become a key factor for global food security and economic development. It’s so important that half of the human population relies on palm oil-related products.


Outside of human use, the palm oil industry has been destructible towards the environment. To meet demands, there has been an increase in expansion. This expansion has led to deforestation in many areas like Central and South America. Out of all of the animals across the world, expansion has led to 54% of threatened mammals and 64% of threatened birds. Overall, the industry has allowed 193 species to be a part of one of the following: critically endangered, endangered, and vulnerable.


To counteract what has been done so far, the focus has been on creating more sustainable practices. Moving towards other crops wouldn’t be practical due to the lower yields from those crops. An alternative would be avoiding further deforestation and moving away from the use of palm oil in non-food products.


Source: IUCN


By Kyra Bassett Marketing Intern AMLY Sustainability

August 6, 2021


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