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Jakarta Post

Oil palm plantations creep onto coast, small islands in Indonesia

  • A. Muh. Ibnu Aqil
    A. Muh. Ibnu Aqil

    The Jakarta Post

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Jakarta   /   Sun, November 8, 2020   /  06:43 pm
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A worker gathers bunches of oil palm fruit at a plantation in Lampung.(The Jakarta Post/R. Berto Wedhatama)

Although oil palm plantations are usually associated with inland deforestation, some have expanded into coastal areas and small islands, activists have noted, raising concerns about additional environmental degradation and the loss of fishing livelihoods. Oil palms are grown primarily within 10 degrees latitude of the equator. They can be cultivated at altitudes higher than 500 meters above sea level, but they are more productive on lowlands. They can grow in various soils, with admixtures of sand, volcanic soil, alluvial clay and peat. Data compiled by the Coalition for Fisheries Justice Indonesia (KIARA) suggests that in 2018, there were about 675,791 hectares of oil palm plantations in districts with coastlines and on islands of less than 2,000 square kilometers. “Based on that figure, we believe that oil palm plantations do not only affect inland areas but also coastal...