international magazine
09 / 2007

Biofuel may lead to a catastrophe

The move to biofuels based on vegetable oils does not look as good as it sounds. It creates a massive market for palm oil, but leaves danger lurking in the shadows in Malaysia and Indonesia. From 1985 to 2000, deforestation to make way for palm oil plantations was the leading cause of losses to tropical forests in the two nations. On the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, palm oil plantations took over 4m hectares of forest.