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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

09/07/2014: Threat to water quality from palm oil

Found in thousands of products, from peanut butter and packaged bread to shampoo and shaving cream, palm oil is a booming multibillion-dollar industry. While it isn't always clearly labeled in supermarket staples, the unintended consequences of producing this ubiquitous ingredient have been widely publicised.
 
New palm plantation being established
 

The clearing of tropical forests to plant oil palm trees releases massive amounts of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas fueling climate change. Converting diverse forest ecosystems to these single-crop "monocultures" degrades or destroys wildlife habitat. Oil palm plantations also have been associated with dangerous and abusive conditions for laborers.

Significantly, eroded water quality now joins the list of risks associated with oil palm cultivation, according to new research co-authored by researchers from Stanford University and the University of Minnesota, US, who warn of threats to freshwater streams that millions of people depend on for drinking water, food and livelihoods. 

The new study in the Journal of Geophysical Research:Biogeosciences contains surprising findings about the intensity and persistence of these impacts, even in areas fully forested with mature oil palm trees.


See more HERE.


 The Aquaculturists
This blog is maintained by The Aquaculturists staff and is supported by the magazine International Aquafeed which is published by Perendale Publishers Ltd.

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