Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
  Energy News  

Subscribe free to our newsletters via your

Malaysian forests destroyed for palm oil

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only
by Staff Writers
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (UPI) Feb 3, 2011
Massive draining of Malaysia's peat swamp forests for palm oil production could lead to the complete loss of forests in the state of Sarawak by the end of this decade, a study warns.

The study shows that from 2005-10, almost 10 percent of Sarawak's forests and 33 percent of its peat swamp forests were cleared, 65 percent of which was for palm oil production.

For the rest of Asia, the deforestation rate during the same period was approximately 3.5 percent.

Commissioned by Netherlands environmental group Wetlands International, the report relied on satellite data analyzed by SarVision, a remote sensing firm also based in the Netherlands.

Malaysia, the world's second-largest palm oil producer, accounts for 45 percent of the world's palm oil production.

Aside from the global increase in demand for vegetable oil, Wetlands International cited initiatives in Europe to increase the use of biofuel for spurring the massive expansion of the plantations.

The Malaysian government claims that 8 to 13 percent of all Malaysian palm oil plantations are on former peat swamps. In Sarawak, the government estimates that it is 20 percent.

The SarVision and Wetlands International studies, however, suggest that 20 percent of all Malaysian palm plantations are situated on drained peat swamps and 44 percent of Sarawak's palm plantations are on former peat swamp forests.

"Official Malaysian government figures now appear to have given a far too optimistic picture of the situation," the report states.

The report estimates that 1,260,237 acres of peat lands were drained in Malaysia last year for the production of palm oil, leading directly to the release of 20 million tons of carbon dioxide.

"Free availability of satellite imagery and tools such as Google Earth are revolutionizing forest monitoring," said Niels Wielaard, a senior project manager with SarVision.

In a news release, Wetlands International called for a ban on palm oil production on peatlands and for a halt on further conversion of natural areas for the crop.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak defended the country's sustainable development policies, saying that government policies ensure a balance of taking care of its citizens' needs while conserving forest areas.

"We need to provide space to accommodate a better life for Malaysians but at the same time, areas developed for oil palm cultivation must be based on sustainable development," the prime minister said Saturday, in response to reporters' questions about excessive palm oil production, national news agency Bernama reports.

Share This Article With Planet Earth DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook

Related Links
Bio Fuel Technology and Application News

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Celanese Signs LoI For Ethanol Production Facilities In China
Zhuhai, China (SPX) Jan 21, 2011
Celanese has announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Celanese Far East Limited, has signed letters of intent to construct and operate industrial ethanol production facilities in Nanjing, China, at the Nanjing Chemical Industrial Park and in Zhuhai, China, at the Gaolan Port Economic Zone. Pending project approvals, Celanese could begin industrial ethanol production within the next 30 m ... read more

Enecsys Solar PV Micro-Inverter Gain UL Certification

United Solar Announces World Record Thin-Film Silicon Cell Efficiency

Duke Energy And SunEdison Announce Completion Of Solar Farm

Pepco Energy To Implement PV Project For US DoE

Construction Begins On Dempsey Ridge Wind Project

India's Suzlon wins $1.28 bn wind power deal

German wind sector hopes for 2011 comeback

U.S. behind China in wind power energy

Iraq to respect Kurd profit-sharing oil deals: PM

India jabbed by coal price increases

Iraqi Kurdistan resumes pumping oil to export line

New Model For How Nevada Gold Deposits Formed May Help In Gold Exploration

Europe launches trillion-euro energy revamp

Neiker-Tecnalia Creates Air-Conditioned Greenhouse With Alternative Energies

China and the U.S. sign energy deals

Mexico supplies electricity to wintry Texas

Europe's cars switch to daytime lights to boost safety

VW to create 40,000 jobs by 2018: report

Prius loses Japan top spot for first time in 20 months

Mitsubishi to launch eight new green cars by 2016

Philippines rice 2010 farm output hit by weather

Toward Controlling Fungus That Caused Irish Potato Famine

Tiger mauls Indonesian plantation worker to death

UN hopes for fast ratification of biodiversity treaty

Verizon reins in data hogs before unleashing iPhone

New York Times net profit dips 26 percent

A Cool Way To Make Glass

85 percent of US adults own cellphone: survey

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement