Oil palm alarm for Woodlark Island, Papua New Guinea

This is a video about Papua New Guinea.




Papua New Guinea’s Woodlark Island Rainforests to Be Cleared for Oil Palm Agrofuels

Rainforest Portal a project of Ecological Internet

December 27, 2007


The PNG government continues to approve rainforest destruction and diminishment even as they vocally seek to be paid with carbon market funds for their “protection”

The oil palm biofuel industry — the scourge of Asia and the world’s rainforests — is continuing to expand into Papua New Guinea (PNG). Malaysian company Vitroplant has been granted necessary permits by the PNG government to begin clearing 70% of the rainforests on biodiversity rich Woodlark Island, some 60,000 hectares, in order to establish a massive plantation of oil palm trees. Expansion of oil palm plantations at the expense of primary rainforests runs contrary to PNG’s government public support for preserving rainforests for climate and other benefits. An oil palm plantation on Woodlark Island will endanger the island’s flora and fauna, cause environmental upheaval, and result in drastic cultural change.

The islanders of Woodlark have worked hard to draw international attention to this issue, and have issued an appeal for the support of international NGOs and citizens to pressure the government to withdraw the project.


8 thoughts on “Oil palm alarm for Woodlark Island, Papua New Guinea

  1. EU rethinks agrofuels guidelines
    Posted by: “RONALD GATES” ronnmorrison@btopenworld.com ronald8212
    Tue Jan 15, 2008 4:17 am (PST)

    EU rethinks biofuels guidelines
    By Roger Harrabin, Environment Analyst
    BBC News, 14 January 2008

    Europe’s environment chief has admitted that the EU did not foresee the problems raised by its policy to get 10% of Europe’s road fuels from plants.

    Recent reports have warned of rising food prices and rainforest destruction from increased biofuel production.

    The EU has promised new guidelines to ensure that its target is not damaging.

    EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said it would be better to miss the target than achieve it by harming the poor or damaging the environment.

    Clampdown promised

    A couple of years ago biofuels looked like the perfect get-out-of-jail free card for car manufacturers under pressure to cut carbon emissions.

    Instead of just revolutionising car design they could reduce transport pollution overall if drivers used more fuel from plants which would have soaked up CO2 while they were growing.

    Fuel made from plants like corn are driving up food prices

    The EU leapt at the idea – and set their biofuels targets.

    Since then reports have warned that some biofuels barely cut emissions at all – and others can lead to rainforest destruction, drive up food prices, or prompt rich firms to drive poor people off their land to convert it to fuel crops.

    “We have seen that the environmental problems caused by biofuels and also the social problems are bigger than we thought they were. So we have to move very carefully,” Mr Dimas told the BBC.

    “We have to have criteria for sustainability, including social and environmental issues, because there are some benefits from biofuels.”

    Some analysts doubt that “sustainable” palm oil exists because any palm oil used for fuel simply swells the demand for the product oil on the global market which is mainly governed by food firms.

    US expansion

    Mr Dimas said it was vital for the EU’s rules to prevent the loss of biodiversity which he described as the other great problem for the planet, along with climate change.

    On Monday, the Royal Society, the UK’s academy of science, is publishing a major review of biofuels. It is expected to call on the EU to make sure its guidelines guarantee that all biofuels in Europe genuinely save carbon emissions.

    In the US the government has just passed a new energy bill mandating a major increase in fuel from corn, which is deemed by some analysts to be useless in combating rising carbon dioxide emissions.

    The bill also foresees a huge expansion in fuel from woody plants but the technology for this is not yet proven.


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