World Rainforest Movement

Palm oil plantations are making inroads in the Brazilian Amazon

A recent article from Mongabay warns on how the palm oil industry is expanding rapidly in the Brazilian Amazon. Oil palm coverage in northern Pará increased almost five-fold between 2010 and 2019. Studies have shown that the conversion of forests into oil palm plantations is a major problem.  Most of Brazil’s palm oil production is controlled by eight companies. Scientists have found high levels of agrochemical residues in surrounding communities while prosecutors are pursuing legal cases against the companies for allegedly violating Indigenous and traditional communities’ rights and damaging the environment. In Brazil, four out of nine pesticides approved for use in oil palm plantations are listed as “highly hazardous.” Brazilian legislation sets no limits for any pesticide residue found in sediments, even though they could potentially contaminate crops and pose a public health risk. At least seven herbicides and 16 insecticides are currently used in these plantations. Impacts are devastating. Read the article in English here.