Palm Oil in a nutshell
A key ingredient in many foodstuffs and cosmetics, palm oil is among the world’s cheapest edible oils and increasingly one of the most popular.
Demand from emerging economies such as India and China as well as a growing reliance on biofuels in Europe and elsewhere means global production is only set to grow.
The environmental damage that can be caused when expansion of industrial production continues unchecked and the undeniable link between palm oil and deforestation can be witnessed via the destroyed peatlands and rainforests in Indonesia, the world’s largest producer.
Now Africa, the natural home of the oil palm, is firmly in the sights of the world’s leading agribusiness companies.Herakles Farms : Wrong Project, Wrong Place
The efforts by US company Herakles Farms to turn vast tracts of Cameroonian natural forest into a palm oil plantation exemplify the huge environmental and social threats facing Africa’s forests if the expansion of large-scale palm oil production on the continent continues unchecked and without adequate safeguards.
If not stopped the development would cause widespread environmental damage in an area of great biodiversity surrounded by five protected areas. Furthermore it would affect communities living within the concession area who are reliant on the land for their livelihoods. Despite the claims of Herakles CEO that he is addressing a “dire humanitarian need” longstanding local opposition to the proposed plantation continues to grow.Fighting to save Africa's richest rainforest
During a Greenpeace field trip to Cameroon in January 2013, we witnessed widespread local opposition to Herakles Farms’ highly controversial yet potentially lucrative palm oil plantation.
People fear they will lose their land and their livelihoods to the US-based corporation’s subsidiary in Cameroon, SG Sustainable Oils Cameroon (SGSOC). Many farmers in the area are self-employed, growing cacao, taro and maize, among other fruits and vegetables. SGSOC has not presented any maps indicating the inner boundaries of the proposed palm oil concession, leaving villagers in the dark as to how much farmland they actually stand to lose.What YOU can do
Cameroon seems far from us. But we need to make that issue known across the world. Environmental crimes must be unveiled.
The Herakles Farms project in Cameroon is in the wrong place, threatens people's livelihoods and will cause environmental destruction.
It must be stopped