On the occasion of the comment by Michelle Desilets* about sustainable palm oil as a solution to the problem I would like to say the following about it:
Millions of diesel vehicles in Germany run on “agricultural fuel” made from palm oil, and it is burned in combined heat and power plants to generate electricity and heat. In the port of Rotterdam, tankers deliver millions of tons of palm oil for the European market every year.
In August 2008, the Malaysian manufacturer United Plantations had around 36,000 hectares of its plantations certified under the RSPO seal.
And now about RSPO!!
From 2002 the WWF initiated the “Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil” (RSPO) with the aim of promoting sustainable cultivation methods and environmentally friendly palm oil products.
The certification of palm oil is a farce
The rainforests are still going up in flames for the plantations, a good eleven million hectares in Indonesia and Malaysia alone. The extent of the destruction is evident in the area.
For hours nothing other than endless monotonous rows of oil palms is visible.
In between, remains of the rainforest and fresh clearings, smoking peat bogs, desperate smallholders and indigenous peoples, starving orangutans, and other jungle animals.
It is one of the greatest human-made environmental disasters. For years, however, there have been storms of protest around the world, but governments and industry are playing for time and blaming each other.
The spokesman for the Indonesian Association of Palm Oil Producers, Daud Dharsono, rejects a clearing stop:
“Indonesia cannot be responsible for this, nor can it afford to continue to live with primeval forests that are unproductive.”
European industry is a little more cautious with its statements.
She fears the boycott of her products but wants more and more of the cheap palm oil.
RSPO debated certification standards for six years. What came out of it is a farce.
Rainforest can also be cleared further, only so-called “particularly worthy of preservation forests” are excluded.
The RSOP certificate also allows wood companies to turn the primary forest into a kindling forest and later sell the area to a plantation operator who produces so-called palm oil with the seal of approval “Save the Rainforest”(!!!)
The environmental foundation WWF is one of the main players in RSPO alongside Unilever and has given the industrial seal a touch of green.
The RSPO chairman receives a logging award
According to its own statements, the WWF sees itself as a “partner to business” and “works successfully with well-known companies from a wide variety of industries”.
In its 2007 annual report, WWF states that it has received funding of 152 million euros from governments, 74 million euros from companies, and 71 million euros from private foundations.
While the WWF praised the arrival of the RSPO palm oil as an “important milestone”, Greenpeace criticized the certificate as a “fraudulent label” and demanded its withdrawal.
When visiting United Plantations’ oil palm plantations in Indonesia, Greenpeace discovered that the company was continuing to clear rainforest.
Meanwhile, palm oil certification is progressing rapidly.
More than 250 environmental and social organizations, including Rainforest Rescue, rejected the RSPO as “greenwashing” in a joint declaration in October 2008.
The constantly claimed sustainability for palm oil does not exist in practice.
Serious problems such as clearing the rainforest, land consumption, and human rights violations persist.
As long as the sustainable production of palm oil runs under such dubious business, doing without palm oil seems to be the safest option to avoid the destruction of threatened tropical forests.
For this reason, we all recommend avoiding products that contain palm oil.
* One thought on “Palm oil destroys life”