Sustainable oil palm industry

The possibilities

Rahima Khatun, Mohammad Imam Hasan Reza, M. Moniruzzaman, Zahira Yaakob

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Cruel oil or green gold is a dilemma for the oil palm industry. The oil palm industry (planting and milling) has a devastating impact on the environment and ecosystems. Oil palm plantations and expansion cause deforestation, habitat loss, forest fragmentation, biodiversity loss, food chain disruption, soil property changes, water and air pollution, conversion of wetlands and arable lands, and increased greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, resulting in annual fires as well as increasing both subsidence and flood risk. Palm oil mill effluents (POME) are toxic compounds that cause eutrophication and acidification, pollute terrestrial and aquatic systems and release greenhouse gases. However, the oil palm industry is a million-dollar industry that ensures food security (oil and fat). There is increasing demand for palm oil due to population growth and for use as a biofuel feedstock. Significant higher production per hectare in comparison to other oil crops is the main advantage of oil palm. The anthropogenic pressure on the environment is increasing to fulfil the demand and increasing susceptibility to natural disasters. Therefore, the sustainability of this industry is an urgent need. This critical review identified gaps and researched ways for the oil palm industry to be sustainable. Maintaining ecological integrity (ecological health, connectivity, resilience); justifying land allocation (ecosystem service mapping); providing awareness, good management practices, no/minimum production gaps, high yield and disease resistant cultivar generation and plantations, supplemental forms of alternative sources, zero-waste milling technology; and locating plantations on suitable land without further deforestation can fulfil the oil palm industry's present and future demands without impairing the ecosystem or environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)608-619
Number of pages12
JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
Volume76
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2017

Fingerprint

Palm oil
Industry
Ecosystems
Deforestation
Greenhouse gases
Eutrophication
Water pollution
Acidification
Biodiversity
Subsidence
Wetlands
Biofuels
Oils and fats
Air pollution
Gas emissions
Disasters
Feedstocks
Crops
Sustainable development
Effluents

Keywords

  • Ecological integrity
  • Ecosystem services
  • Oil palm farming
  • Production intensification
  • Renewable energy
  • Sustainable agriculture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment

Cite this

Sustainable oil palm industry : The possibilities. / Khatun, Rahima; Reza, Mohammad Imam Hasan; Moniruzzaman, M.; Yaakob, Zahira.

In: Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Vol. 76, 01.09.2017, p. 608-619.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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