Several factors including industrialization and increased demand for agricultural lands contributed to the loss of 3.4 million hectares of forests in Africa between 2000 and 2010. Now the expansion of the oil palm industry in Africa threatens even greater losses for the continent's forests and biodiversity, including its apes, chimpanzees, and the bonobo.
The Africa Section of SCB has called on African governments, policy makers, and societies to formulate effective policies that will support the ecological sustainability of African equatorial forests. The Section makes specific recommendations that governments should take to reduce the threat that oil palm expansion poses to biodiversity in Africa. In a position statement on the threat from industrial oil palm expansion, the Africa Section recommends that governments grant concessions only to companies that are part of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and stipulate the development of oil palm plantations on degraded lands through incentives like tax breaks.
Read the position statementfor the full set of recommendations, and for background on the problem. The Guardian Nigeria covered the Section's plea to governments to protect the continent's forestsm and biodiversity.