Latin American oil palm mostly replaces pasture

Oil-palm plantations in Latin America are mostly replacing cattle pasture and other previously intervened lands rather than forests, a study by scientists in Puerto Rico has found.

The research – which also revealed that most exported oil palm stays within the region – suggests that Latin America is a “major opportunity” for the sustainable palm-oil sector, according to the scientists.

“The oil-palm industry has faced enormous scrutiny because of destructive practices in Asia,” said Paul Furumo of the University of Puerto Rico-Río Piedras. “Our study reveals a different narrative of oil-palm expansion in Latin America, one in which cattle pastures and other previously intervened lands are the most significant source of new plantings instead of forests.” […]

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