On the Philippine island Palawan, local resistance against oil palm plantations is continuing and strengthening: Over 4,200 individuals from local communities affected by palm oil have signed a petition calling for a moratorium on the expansion of oil palm plantations. The petition has been presented to the Vice-Governor by the recently established Coalition Against Land Grabbing. The next few weeks should see the start of negotiations with government agencies which will be crucial for Indigenous Peoples and farmers on Palawan.
Palawan has been declared a UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve because of its unique biocultural diversity. Oil palm plantations are breaking up the connection between interrelated ecosystems, they are causing dramatic declines in animal populations, in marine life and in non-timber forest products on which indigenous communities depend. These include raw materials needed to build houses and produce artefacts and also medicinal plants. At the same time, small farmers are losing vital agricultural income due to oil palms.
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