Palm oil is literally everywhere – in our foods, cosmetics, cleaning products and fuels. And, while being a source of huge profits for multinational corporations, our palm oil consumption has devastating consequences for the environment – from displacing indigenous people and critically endangering wildlife, to heavily contributing to climate change by wiping out millions of acres of forests.
Now, in a momentous win for wildlife and sustainable agriculture, Peru has pledged to enter into an agreement for ending palm oil-driven deforestation by 2021. The commitment, if followed through, would make Peru the second South American country after Colombia to commit to deforestation-free palm oil production. Peru’s promise was made possible by the National Wildlife Federation, the largest private, non-profit conservation education and advocacy organization in the US.
The non-profit has worked alongside Peruvian palm oil Producers’ Association and Peru’s government for two years before achieving the result. Peru’s environment-minded commitment aligns with the recent IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, which assesses the potential impacts of climate change and ways to adapt to and mitigate the environmental crisis. The report outlined the importance of maintaining forests and sensitive habitats in South and North America, as well as the need to responsibly manage and grow forests to help fight climate change.