Palm oil – strategic source of renewable energy in Indonesia and Malaysia
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This paper seeks to answer the question of how the global industry of palm oil is affecting the economies and natural environments of its two main producers – Indonesia and Malaysia. The first section examines the contemporary uses of palm oil in a variety of products and industries. It also sets out to describe the global palm oil market. The second section takes a historical perspective, analysing the origins of palm oil cultivation and trade and its rapid rise to global prominence. The third section looks into the increasingly important role of palm oil as biofuel component and the implications this has for its use. The fourth section investigates both main producers of palm oil. The fifth section presents the controversies which arise from palm oil cultivation, trade and use in many consumer products. The paper concludes by describing the prospects of market growth and the economic and ecological implications for Indonesia and Malaysia.
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