The sight and sound of tree felling is common in Indonesia, the country with the highest rate of deforestation in the world. The destruction of forests in this archipelago, draped like an emerald necklace across the equator, can be measured in hectares per minute. Today, though, is a good day for the conservationists.
The felled tree is an oil palm, or elaeis guineensis, the native of West Africa that has colonized millions of hectares of Southeast Asia's formerly pristine forests. Its fruit is crushed, processed and bleached to form a flavorless, colorless oil. The invisible ingredient in everything from your chocolate to your shampoo.
Here in Aceh, as elsewhere in Indonesia, oil palm is known as green gold, reaping vast profits for companies based across Asia and the West. Which makes cutting down palms at the height of their productive life very unusual indeed.
Read the Story at Mongabay>>