The (tropical) forests on earth are threatened by deforestation for the production of wood, paper and mining, but also for the expansion of the cultivation of palm oil and soy. If palm oil is used for the production of biodiesel, it must be sustainably grown. That requires good agricultural practices. Deforestation should never be an issue, nor should production on peat soils.
Palm oil is used for very different purposes. Its production can be good or bad depending on the production method. Scientists make it clear that biofuels, if produced sustainably, are essential for the future of our transport sector. A number of conditions apply for this:
- the increasing demand for agricultural products is realized within the existing agricultural area;
- the yields per hectare are increased,
- The cultivation of agricultural crops for biofuels does not lead to an expansion of agricultural land at a completely different place in the world agricultural system.
Also research from Utrecht University shows that indirect change in land use can be prevented. In addition to producing more on existing farmland or using land that has little natural value, land that was used as farmland in the past but is now abandoned can be used. In Europe, we have seen that the agricultural area has been decreasing by half a million hectares every year for more than 25 years. In 2018, 3 million hectares lay fallow.