Addressing the threats to biodiversity from oil-palm agriculture

  title={Addressing the threats to biodiversity from oil-palm agriculture},
  author={David S Wilcove and Lian Pin Koh},
  journal={Biodiversity and Conservation},
  • D. WilcoveL. P. Koh
  • Published 10 January 2010
  • Environmental Science, Economics
  • Biodiversity and Conservation
Oil-palm agriculture is the greatest immediate threat to biodiversity in Southeast Asia. Despite the efforts of environmentalists, oil palm continues to expand across the tropics. Those concerned about the impacts of oil palm on biodiversity must face some harsh social, economic, and ecological realities: (i) oil palm has been a very profitable crop; (ii) palm oil is used in so many products that simple, direct actions, such as boycotts, are unlikely to succeed; (iii) there is currently… 

Ecological impacts of biodiversity enrichment in oil palm plantations

Land-use change is one of the major drivers of biodiversity loss. To satisfy the demand for palm oil in food and biofuel, complex, species-rich rainforests are converted into large, simply-structured

Evolution of sustainable palm oil policy in Southeast Asia

Abstract Over the years large areas of primary and secondary forest have been cut or burned down to make way for oil palm plantations, particularly in Indonesia and Malaysia, the two countries which

The Threat of Industrial Oil Palm Expansion to Primates and Their Habitats

The history of palm oil production is reviewed, starting with its origins in Africa followed by its expansion to other tropical regions including Malaysia and Indonesia, where over 85 % of the world’s palm oil is now produced.

Mitigating the biodiversity impacts of oil palm development

A review of the documented biodiversity impacts of oil palm, followed by a description of conceptual frameworks for mitigation, and a critique of five emerging mitigation tools: the High Conservation Value approach, land-use advocacy, carbon offsets, biodiversity banking and enhanced regulation and enforcement.

Improving the Performance of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil for Nature Conservation

The RSPO has considerable potential to improve the environmental performance of producers and users of palm oil and identify some specific ways it can become more effective in reducing threats to tropical ecosystems.

A Review of Southeast Asian Oil Palm and Its CO2 Fluxes

Palm oil production is a key industry in tropical regions, driven by the demand for affordable vegetable oil. Palm oil production has been increasing by 9% every year, mostly due to expanding biofuel

Environmental, Economic, and Social Consequences of the Oil Palm Boom

Rising global demand for vegetable oil during the last few decades has led to a drastic increase in the land area under oil palm. Especially in Southeast Asia, the oil palm boom has contributed to


This report provides a review of available scientific information and published literature on impacts of using tropical peat for oil palm cultivation in Southeast Asia. It describes carbon flows and

Environmental consequences of the palm oil industry in Malaysia

There is a growing global demand for palm oil – a vegetable oil used in various products such as margarine and biofuel. Since 1961 the Malaysian palm oil production has experienced a 185-fold



Is oil palm agriculture really destroying tropical biodiversity?

Using data on bird and butterfly diversity in Malaysia’s forests and croplands, it is argued that conversion of either primary or secondary forests to oil palm may result in significant biodiversity losses, whereas conversion of pre-existing cropland (rubber) to oil palms results in fewer losses.

The livelihood impacts of oil palm: smallholders in Indonesia

The biodiversity and climate consequences of oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) expansion across South East Asia have received considerable attention. The human side of the issue, highlighted with reports

Improving the Performance of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil for Nature Conservation

The RSPO has considerable potential to improve the environmental performance of producers and users of palm oil and identify some specific ways it can become more effective in reducing threats to tropical ecosystems.

Is Oil Palm the Next Emerging Threat to the Amazon?

The Amazon Basin appears poised to experience rapid expansion of oil palm agriculture. Nearly half of Amazonia is suitable for oil palm cultivation, and Malaysian corporations are now moving into the

Cashing in palm oil for conservation

Campaigning groups could buy small tracts of existing oil palm plantations, and use the revenue they generate to establish a network of privately owned nature reserves, to combine sustainable economic growth with biodiversity conservation.

How will oil palm expansion affect biodiversity?

Can oil palm plantations be made more hospitable for forest butterflies and birds

Whether the biodiversity of oil palm plantations can be increased by determining how forest-dwelling butterflies and birds in these plantations are affected by vegetation characteristics at the local level and by natural forest cover at the landscape level is investigated.

Oil palm: disinformation enables deforestation.

Fuelling the biodiversity crisis: species loss of ground-dwelling forest ants in oil palm plantations in Sabah, Malaysia (Borneo)

Study of the community of ground-dwelling ants in different plantations in Sabah, Malaysia, over 2 years using tuna baiting revealed that the oil palm plantation ground ant community was severely reduced in species richness in comparison to the forest interior, regardless of age, undergrowth cover, or proximity to neighbouring forest.

Birds defend oil palms from herbivorous insects.

  • L. P. Koh
  • Environmental Science
    Ecological applications : a publication of the Ecological Society of America
  • 2008
It is suggested that insectivorous birds deliver a natural pest control service for oil palm agriculture, which is important not only for the direct benefits it delivers for human welfare, but also in strengthening the economic justifications for conserving the remaining natural habitats and biodiversity in agricultural landscapes.