JOURNAL MONITOR VOL.2 NO.14 : PALM OIL FREE IS DRIVING THE GLOBAL DEFORESTATION
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In the last twenty years, the campaign by anti-palm oil NGOs has become more systematic and massive using various taglines such as “No Palm Oil”, “Palm Oil Free”, or “Phase Out Palm Oil” to reduce global consumption of palm oil, as well as the tagline “No Deforestation” to limit palm oil production in producer countries, including Indonesia. Their argument in the campaigns is to stop global deforestation that occurs as a result of the development of palm oil production.
If the global community supports the NGO campaign for “No Palm Oil”, “Palm Oil Free”, or “Phase Out Palm Oil”, it will trigger additional global deforestation of 167 million hectares. Meanwhile, if the global community supports the NGO campaign for “No Deforestation” on the expansion of oil palm plantations so that to meet the global demand for vegetable oil towards 2050 it is replaced by other vegetable oils, then the campaign will trigger global deforestation of 142 million hectares. The additional deforestation was used for the expansion of cropland for soybean, rapeseed, and sunflower. The results of this study indicate that the anti-palm oil NGO campaign could trigger greater global deforestation in the future and at the same time contradict the Sustainable Development Goals.
The global community should support palm oil and other vegetable oils to meet global needs, not against palm oil. This is because palm oil is proven to be the most efficient vegetable oil crop in land use, where its productivity reaches 6-10 times the productivity of other vegetable oil crops. Besides that, increasing the productivity of palm oil to 6.5 tonnes of oil/hectare is a solution to the “No Deforestation” campaign to fulfil the high demand for vegetable oil by 2050.