Media coverage

Each year, CIFOR’s research and scientists are mentioned in over 1,500 news stories by local and international media outlets worldwide. Find the latest here, with over a decade of archives.

Palm Oil Is in Almost Everything We Eat, and It’s Fueling the Climate Crisis

Peatlands are basically soils formed over thousands of years through the accumulation of organic matter. But they’re waterlogged so they don’t decompose. In Indonesia, Borneo, and Sumatra, peatlands can be up to 60 feet deep . . . it’s basically coal in the making. When the palm oil companies want to establish plantations, they dig canals and use the waterways to bring in their excavators. Then they cut down all the trees, let the water drain out, and then set it all on fire. And because it’s so damp, these peat fires can smolder literally for years, even decades, while emitting carbon. It’s a carbon bomb. According to the Center for International Forestry Research, a forestry organization based in Indonesia, the annual carbon emissions from Indonesia’s forests and peatlands rival those of the entire state of California.
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