GEOG

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The peatland forests of Thailand contribute their highly complex, yet specialized role in the countries tropical ecosystems. Peatlands are essentially wetlands with a thick upper layer of organic soil derived from dead and decaying plant material (Wetlands International, 2013). Peatlands are crucial to the survival of ecosystems as they are home to a plethora of biodiversity, they protect against flooding and are depended upon as an essential resource to the millions of people native to Thailand (Wetlands International, 2013). However, their importance has somehow been unfortunately overlooked by the palm oil industry. One of the newest, most profitable industries in Thailand has become that of palm oil. Being used in almost all modern day food products and a main element of biodiesel fuel (Green Palm Sustainability, 2012), the demand for this palm oil is increasing every day. This highly sought after oil is extracted from the fruit produced by the oil palm trees and is mostly exported to other countries (Green Palm Sustainability, 2012). In 2013, it was reported that 679,400 hectares of primary forest was burned in order to make room for palm oil cultivation, which is an astounding, 60% of Thailand’s forest area (Gabriel, 2013). The negative ramifications from this are potentially disastrous, not only to the peatlands but, to all the forest ecosystems of Thailand. This essay is designed to educate, the reader, on the biophysical and socio-economic impacts, yet also providing solutions to mitigate the harmful repercussions of the palm oil industry on the peatlands of Thailand.
Palm Oil Industrialisation
The global palm oil industry has produced 45.3 million tons in 2009 that it’s no wonder this highly efficient and profitable ...

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...ust much slower. The best solution would be to combine the last idea with this one. Having public awareness and conserving the right land. The real world is not black and white and neither are the problems and solutions so there will not be an overnight decision but at least some action will be taken.
The peatlands of Thailand are being destroyed by palm oil production and it is a very serious issue. Palm oil productions do not just only destruct the peatlands but hundreds of thousands of hectares of land to create room to monoculturize. The removal of these unique and vital ecosystems poses many problems. Comparing the biophysical to the socioeconomic benefits of palm oil production is not as simple as it might seem. I just hope the next generations will be able to fully take in and work to restore the beauty and diversity contained within peatlands of Thailand.
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