African local livelihoods under threat as palm oil producers capture more lands
Booming global demand for palm oil and limited room for the industry’s expansion in Asia have led large palm oil producers to look towards Africa. Companies are also betting on an explosion in demand from the European Union for palm oil as a ‘sustainable’ fuel, and Africa is the closest palm oil-producing region. Swaths of land have been allocated to foreign companies for oil palm plantations. Plantations are causing large-scale deforestation and affecting the water supplies, which are also being contaminated by pesticides used on the plantations. By transferring lands to the exclusive propagation of oil palm, people are losing the ability to grow food for themselves.