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Fact check: Oil palms aren’t driving deforestation!

During 2017, the term ‘fake news’ has become a widely known descriptor for all manner of news items – both those that are well-researched and those that are seemingly plucked out of thin air.

While the term is typically used to play political games, it can, I believe, play a useful role, too. It reminds us all that the research community and other experts must always be ready to check the facts of any mainstream media messages that may give the general population the wrong impression. Particularly where the well-being of people and/or our planet is at stake.

Once such message that cried out to be fact-checked was the claim by France’s Le Monde in March this year that “40% of global deforestation is due to the shift to large-scale oil palm monoculture plantations”. The claim caught the attention of researchers Victor Baron, Alain Rival and Raphael Marichal, who have looked deeply into the matter and were able to present a quite different picture of oil palms as one of the most sustainable choices to answer the needs of the world’s growing population – cutting the claim of 40% to a mere 2.3% and highlighting livestock, soy bean and maize as the key drivers of global deforestation.

There’s a good article with more details of their analysis here

About the author

Lisa Drejer Mortensen

Lisa Drejer Mortensen has worked at Palsgaard for more than 20 years and has since she first participated in the implementation process on strategic CSR at Palsgaard in 2010 focused strongly on strategic CSR management, reporting and project management. Lisa has participated in a number of CSR related seminars and conferences in Europe, CSR-net-workings, and is a member of the Task Force Group on Sustainable Palm oil of Denmark and has gone through an RSPO endorsed Training Course on RSPO certification. She manages the CSR tasks at Palsgaard as well as trademark registrations. She holds a Bachelor in Business Export and diplomas in specialised business studies from Odense Business School and Odense Technical School.

Her email is: ldm@palsgaard.dk