Overly Expansive Oil Palm Plantations | Myths & Facts 2-01

MYTH 2-01 – Overly Expansive Oil Palm Plantations

FACTS – The development of palm oil plantations around the world, which has been said to have undergone revolutionary growth in recent years, has actually been exaggerated. The data show that the expansion of the oil palm plantations is far lower than that of other vegetable oil crops such as soybean, sunflower and rapeseed (Table 2.1)

In the period 1965-2016, the world’s soybean crop area increased by 96.17 million hectares. Similarly, rapeseed and sunflower plantations increased by 26.59 million and 17.15 million hectares, respectively, in the same period. The increase in the area of oil palm plantations is only about 16.61 million hectares or only 17 percent of the additional soybean area. Thus, the most expansive vegetable oil crop plantations are soybean, rapeseed and sunflower.

The expansion of oil palm plantations is relatively small compared to other vegetable oilproducing plantations. The above data also show that internationally, the largest land use change including deforestation (land use, land use change forestry/LULUCF) occurred on soybean plantations, followed by rapeseed plantations and sunflower.

Source: Myths & Facts 2-01