Oil palm cultivation: An economic success at a high price
Two narratives dominate the debate on the expansion of the oil palm cultivation. The first narrative focuses on the destruction of forest or agroforestry systems and their transformation into oil palm monoculture plantations. It identifies the massive threat that this development deals to the environment’s capacity to preserve and provide biological processes and components of an ecosystem. The second narrative shows how oil palm cultivation improves the livelihoods of rural households by increasing their income and nutrition. Both narratives are supported by scientific evidence, and they need to be thought together when aiming to improve the ecological and economical sustainability in the production areas.