The Disastrous Local and Global Impacts of Tropical Biofuel Production
byLucas Patzek, Tadeusz W. Patzek
Patzek, Lucas, J. and Patzek, T. W., "The Disastrous Local and Global Impacts of Tropical Biofuel Production," Featured Story, Energy Tribune, March 2007 issue, pages 19-22
Demand in the 18th century persuaded Europeans to plant oil palm plantations. The first large plantation was established in Indonesia around 1911, and can be traced back to four seedlings planted at Bogor Botanical Garden. From these seedlings the Deli dura (thick-shelled) palms developed, with better fruit composition and a larger proportion of mesocarp than in African palms. Southeast Asia, and specifically Malaysia, has dominated the industry ever since. Malaysia and Indonesia together currently account for 86 percent of global palm oil production and 91 percent of its global exports. Malaysia produces 42 percent and remains the leading exporter with 48 percent of the world market. Indonesia produces 44 percent of the world’s palm oil and is a close second in exports, with 43 percent of the market.