|Protecting Natural Forest in Oil Palm Plantations Crucial for Conservation|
Forest conservation areas in oil palm plantations play a vital role in storing carbon and boosting rainforest biodiversity, a new study on palm oil agriculture in Borneo has revealed. The study, led by the University of York, found that patches of protected forest play an important role in helping to conserve endangered species including hornbill birds and dipterocarp trees. The study revealed that plantations, where a tenth of the land is protected as natural forest, store up to 20 per cent more carbon than plantations with no protected forest. Oil palm agriculture is a key driver of deforestation, causing widespread biodiversity loss and carbon emissions—particularly in Indonesia and Malaysia, where 85 per cent of the world’s palm oil is produced.