Sustainably Produced Palm Oil Helps to Protect the Environment

Palm oil is important for meeting the globally rising demand for food and there is increasing evidence that, when it is produced sustainably, palm oil is also contributing to preserving ecosystems.

Oil palms are very land efficient and the highest-yielding vegetable oil crops

Replacing oil palms with other vegetable oil crops would increase demand for land and further jeopardize biodiversity and increase greenhouse gas emissions.

Infographic by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). 


Oil palm plantations can serve as a habitat for wildlife

  • Orangutans have been observed to use palm oil plantations to move between forest fragments, to nest and as a food source. A team from the HUTAN Orang-utan Research Unit has discovered this in many areas of the Kinabatangan floodplain in Malaysian Borneo. A mosaic of oil palm and forest landscapes can create connections and contribute to restore their populations. 
  • Conserving rainforest habitat near oil palm plantations can help protect the Southern pig-tailed macaque in Malaysia. By eating rats in the plantations macaques provide co-benefits as biological pest control.
  • Through conservation efforts in two palm oil estates in Brazil these areas are habitat to the Dark-winged Trumpeter and the Golden Parakeet – two birds which would probably have gone extinct without these efforts.



There is increasing evidence that sustainably produced palm oil can help to preserve global forests. Forty-seven of the world’s leading conservation organisations, including Chester Zoo, actively support and promote the transformation of the palm oil industry to make it fully sustainable.

Read more on the websites of other organisations: 


What is the role of palm oil for deforestation in Indonesia?

There have been controversial discussions about how much of the deforestation in Indonesia, the world’s largest palm oil producer, is caused by palm oil production. Recent studies revealed new insights about drivers of deforestation during the past two decades. Read here about what causes deforestation in Indonesia.