The tropical areas suitable for palm oil plantations are incredibly rich in biodiversity. For many years, oil palm production has been associated with negative impacts on global biodiversity, as it significantly contributes to land-use changes in tropical forests, peatlands, and other species-rich habitats. The major direct impact on biodiversity caused by palm oil cultivation is habitat loss caused by deforestation and the burning of peat or natural vegetation to prepare the land for planting. Since the 1990s, palm oil has become a global commodity widely used in processed foods and is the highest yielding plant producing vegetable oil.
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