AFRICAN COUNTRIES COMMIT TO PROTECTING FORESTS FROM PALM OIL INDUSTRY
At a meeting in Marrakesh, seven African countries signed the TFA 2020 Marrakesh Declaration for the Sustainable Development of the Oil Palm Sector in Africa, thereby committing themselves, with support from the palm oil industry, to prioritize sustainable palm oil development. The seven countries–Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Liberia, and the Republic of Congo—together contain 618 million acres of tropical forests, about 13% of the world’s total. The booming palm oil industry, which has caused considerable deforestation in biodiverse-rich rainforests in Indonesia and Malaysia, is expected to expand to Africa; deforestation therefore is a considerable concern. In addition to being supported by environmental groups, such as the Tropical Forest Alliance 2020, the declaration has received support from the International Indigenous People’s Forum on Climate Change, which says the declaration would protect the rights and livelihoods of local and indigenous communities dependent of the forests. For the full story, see https://news.mongabay.com/2016/11/seven-african-countries-pledge-to-protect-their-tropical-forests-from-unsustainable-oil-palm-development/.