Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Keywords

Sustainability, Indonesia, Palm Oil, Deforestation, Ecological Responsibility

Department

Religion

Major

International Studies and Management

Abstract

Palm oil is the main source of cooking oil for much of Africa, Asia and Brazil. Due to the increasingly high demand for palm oil, countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia have cleared millions of acres of tropical rainforests to create space for oil palm plantations. This deforestation has led to extreme environmental and social concerns such as the burning of peatlands, the endangerment of a number of species, including the Sumatran Tiger, rhinos and orangutans, and the displacement of native populations. Indonesia is the world’s largest consumer and producer of palm oil, producing almost half of the world’s supply which has created a dependence on palm oil for the success of their economy. This has created an economics-ecology dilemma for the country, yet, still, the success of their economy is dependent on the sustainability of their environment. There have been a number of international efforts to improve the sustainability of the industry, but there has been no lasting change as the attraction to profits has greatly outweighed the negative implications of growth. The environmental impacts of the industry raise serious concerns for the survival of these rich and vital rainforests. In his book, Loving Nature, James A. Nash discusses a number of theological arguments for ecology that are can be directly applied to the palm oil industry of Indonesia. Christians, Nash discusses, are called to love thy neighbor, which must include non-human neighbors. Christians also have the responsibility to care for future generations, which entails preserving the natural resources of our planet. The social and ecological effects of the Indonesian palm oil industry violate the integrity of the planet, our neighbors, and future generations, and is thus violating Christian ecological responsibility.

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Christopher Doran

Funding Source or Research Program

Not Identified

Presentation Session

Session B

Location

Plaza Classroom 190

Start Date

24-3-2017 5:15 PM

End Date

24-3-2017 5:30 PM

 
Mar 24th, 5:15 PM Mar 24th, 5:30 PM

The Giving Trees: The (Un)Sustainability of Palm Oil in Indonesia

Plaza Classroom 190

Palm oil is the main source of cooking oil for much of Africa, Asia and Brazil. Due to the increasingly high demand for palm oil, countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia have cleared millions of acres of tropical rainforests to create space for oil palm plantations. This deforestation has led to extreme environmental and social concerns such as the burning of peatlands, the endangerment of a number of species, including the Sumatran Tiger, rhinos and orangutans, and the displacement of native populations. Indonesia is the world’s largest consumer and producer of palm oil, producing almost half of the world’s supply which has created a dependence on palm oil for the success of their economy. This has created an economics-ecology dilemma for the country, yet, still, the success of their economy is dependent on the sustainability of their environment. There have been a number of international efforts to improve the sustainability of the industry, but there has been no lasting change as the attraction to profits has greatly outweighed the negative implications of growth. The environmental impacts of the industry raise serious concerns for the survival of these rich and vital rainforests. In his book, Loving Nature, James A. Nash discusses a number of theological arguments for ecology that are can be directly applied to the palm oil industry of Indonesia. Christians, Nash discusses, are called to love thy neighbor, which must include non-human neighbors. Christians also have the responsibility to care for future generations, which entails preserving the natural resources of our planet. The social and ecological effects of the Indonesian palm oil industry violate the integrity of the planet, our neighbors, and future generations, and is thus violating Christian ecological responsibility.