Converting rainforest into palm oil plantations: Goettingen scientists analyse the effects

Palm oil has become part of our daily lives: it is used in cosmetics, biofuels and much of the food we eat. But a recent study by the University of Göttingen serves as a reminder that although intensive farming leads to cheaper products, the environmental and social costs are high. This study by a consortium of researchers of the University of Göttingen analyzed the carbon costs and benefits of converting rainforests into oil palm plan-tations. Drawing on comprehensive data on the soil and vegetation in central Sumatra, the researchers com-pared the impact of oil palm farming with that of intensive and extensive rubber cultivation. The study is published in Nature Communications. (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)