Asian Nations have a huge wealth of mineral resources and are naturally keen to exploit them to create valuable government revenue, enable growth and increase employment and living standards. Few would disagree that this needs to be done in the most sustainable way possible. Particular attention needs to be paid ensuring operations have a social license in the areas they operate and that they genuinely benefit the local communities and environments that are effected.
Palm Oil undoubtedly presently represents the single biggest extractive industry threat to the biodiversity of tropical Asia and has been the causing factor in the acceleration of deforestation over large parts of Indonesia and South East Asia.
Over half of all supermarket products which contain palm oil, often identified on items only as vegetable oil. Co-ordinated consumer action is need to pressurize supermarket chains and Governmants to curb the devastating impacts a booming Palm Oil industry is having on Asia’s forests.