Executive Briefings

'Borneo Atlas' to Help Palm Oil Buyers Check on Forest Damage

Researchers have created for the first time a detailed map that will help buyers and consumers of palm oil work out whether the supply chain is harming forests on the Southeast Asian island of Borneo.

Developed over the past year, the “Borneo Atlas” was unveiled last week by the Indonesia-based Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).

The map shows the location and ownership of 467 palm-oil mills on Borneo, which is shared by Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei, and is one of the biggest island producers of the cheap, edible oil.

“It is the most comprehensive data set so far,” David Gaveau, an environmental scientist at CIFOR, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Mapping of palm mills is more than 90 percent complete for the whole island, he added.

To create the Borneo Atlas, CIFOR researchers sifted through online and other documents published by companies, non-governmental organizations, palm-oil certification agencies, mapping websites and social media networks.

A tool linked to the Borneo Atlas will use regularly updated satellite imagery to show a 10-km (6-mile) radius around each mill, detailing its impact on nearby forested areas and any expansion of existing plantations.

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Developed over the past year, the “Borneo Atlas” was unveiled last week by the Indonesia-based Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR).

The map shows the location and ownership of 467 palm-oil mills on Borneo, which is shared by Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei, and is one of the biggest island producers of the cheap, edible oil.

“It is the most comprehensive data set so far,” David Gaveau, an environmental scientist at CIFOR, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Mapping of palm mills is more than 90 percent complete for the whole island, he added.

To create the Borneo Atlas, CIFOR researchers sifted through online and other documents published by companies, non-governmental organizations, palm-oil certification agencies, mapping websites and social media networks.

A tool linked to the Borneo Atlas will use regularly updated satellite imagery to show a 10-km (6-mile) radius around each mill, detailing its impact on nearby forested areas and any expansion of existing plantations.

Read Full Article