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Rethinking Global Land Use in an Urban Era$
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Karen C. Seto and Anette Reenberg

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262026901

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262026901.001.0001

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Palm Oil as a Case Study of Distal Land Connections

Palm Oil as a Case Study of Distal Land Connections

(p.163) 9 Palm Oil as a Case Study of Distal Land Connections
Rethinking Global Land Use in an Urban Era

Birka Wicke

The MIT Press

Palm oil production is often associated with negative environmental and social impacts related to land-use change (LUC) particularly deforestation of tropical rainforest. Most consumers are located far away from production, LUC, and its impacts so that impacts are not felt or even perceived. This chapter investigates the underlying factors that shape the connections and land use for palm oil production. Possible ways to minimize undesired impacts of LUC are identified: better land-use zoning and use of degraded land for new plantations, increasing palm oil yields and applying production schemes that are more beneficial to local communities. In addition, decision making that is not made at the local level (e.g., by actors in distant places, through interactions between different markets) must be understood. A global perspective on land use and land-use governance is needed. For example, a global cap on LUC-related emissions for all countries could provide better governance of LUC and minimize the displacement of land use and associated emissions. Consumers could be made more responsible for LUC-related emissions by allocating these emissions to consuming countries or by placing a carbon tax on products with high LUC-induced greenhouse gas emissions. Published in the Strungmann Forum Reports Series.

Keywords:   palm oil production, land-use change, global land-use governance, distal land connections

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