Does GVL have an anti-deforestation or forest conservation policy?
Actually, poverty and its consequences are what is deforesting Liberia. Poverty and population pressure forces rural people to rely on slash and burn agriculture and legal or illegal logging. In slash & burn agriculture a plot of forest is felled and burnt to make charcoal to sell to cities which is essentially the only income opportunity apart from logging, and cassava or other depleting crops are planted for a season or two for sustenance agriculture, before moving to a new plot. Logging provided the other income opportunity, with round logs exported and without replanting. The Government is tackling the logging issue, which is difficult, but without significant other opportunity for prosperity for the rural people, Liberian forests are being cut down permanently. We operate a Forest Conservation Policy, which focuses on no development on high carbon stock forests, high conservation value areas and peat lands; free, prior and informed consent from local communities; and compliance with all relevant laws and internationally accepted certification principles and criteria. We have from the very beginning operated in areas, which do not contain primary forests, and are not protected forests or high biodiversity areas.
Does Oil Palm contribute to eradication of the rain forest?
Oil Palm actually uses a minimal amount of land compared to other oilseed crops, and of all oilseed crops has the most efficient use of land. For example on a single acre of land used for Oil Palm 635 gallons of oil can be produced compared to only 18 gallons of cottonseed oil and 48 gallons of soybean oil. What this means in terms of land usage is that of the major oilseed products Oil Palm is the most efficient in terms of land usage and it is the most productive. Another way of looking at it is for every one acre of Oil Palm, 13 acres of soybeans and 35 acres of corn are needed to produce the same amount Oil Palm produces on a single acre. Additionally for other oilseed crops the land is stripped of vegetation and plowed yearly, while Oil Palm is a perennial, meaning it does not have to be replanted year-after-year and allows for a balanced ecosystem by allowing woodland creatures, insects and other animals to inhabit the area.
Does Oil Palm contribute to global warming?
On the contrary, Oil Palm helps protect against global warming. Total area globally devoted to Oil Palm production is 9.16 million hectares (35,367 sq miles). Total land area under soybean cultivation is 92.54 million hectares (357,299 sq miles), more than ten times than that of Oil Palm, yet Oil Palm releases nearly ten times more oxygen into the atmosphere and absorbs nearly ten times more carbon dioxide (a major contributor to global warming).
Why does Oil Palm require so much land?
Oil Palm is the world’s most efficient oil-bearing crop in terms of land utilization, efficiency and productivity. A single hectare of land produces about 10 times more oil than other oilseeds. Globally Oil Palm produces just as much oil as soy, yet utilizes one-tenth the land area.
What is the definition of Primary Forest?
Primary forests are forests which have not been touched by man.