Following growing concerns in the United States about the risks of trans fat since 1999, demand for palm oil, a cheap substitute for trans fat, more than doubled over the last decade and is expected to increase, eliciting concerns about deforestation in several Southeast Asian countries that provide 85 percent of the world’s palm oil.
Over the past three decades, 50 percent of the 544,150 square kilometres that comprise Kalimantan, the Indonesian portion of the island of Borneo, has been taken over by the palm oil industry.
Last week, Indonesia's new president, Joko Widodo, ordered the country’s Ministry of Environment and Forestry to review the licenses of all companies that have converted peatlands to oil palm plantations.
For the second time this year, an internal auditor has criticised the World Bank’s private sector investment agency over dealings in Honduras, and is warning that similar problems are likely being experienced elsewhere.
Comprised of over 17,000 islands that are highly susceptible to rising seas, Indonesia is taking stock of its position as the world’s third leading emitter of greenhouse gases after the United States and China.