Though not significant global producers, palm oil has a long and rich history in Africa and the lives and traditions of local communities on the continent. When done sustainably and within well-managed and diverse agroforestry systems, the production of palm oil can help ensure food security for millions of Africans as well as boost growth and stimulate local economies.
People and Forests first
This is a crucial time for the Congo Basin: as palm oil expansion in Africa is only just beginning, we have a small window in which to stop its magnificent standing forests from suffering the same fate as Indonesia’s rainforests, which have been decimated by endless palm oil plantations. Action must be taken now to ensure that palm oil in Africa does not develop at the expense of the livelihoods of local residents, local food security and biodiversity.
Greenpeace is calling for all countries, institutions, companies and investors to bear responsibility for the impact of their activities. This should be done by implementing policies that address the social and environmental consequences of land grabbing and the expansion of the global palm oil industry.
In the short-term “Zero Forest” policies should be implemented that would halt the conversion of forested land into plantations or other non-forest-based use.
By following a low-carbon development path, the Congo Basin region can protect its forests, respect the rights of its forest communities and achieve food sovereignty and economic development – all while helping above all to protect the global climate.