As the world’s most commonly used vegetable oil, palm oil is a globally traded commodity. The impacts of palm oil production predominantly occur in the regions of the world within the tropical belt where it is grown. In 2015, global planted area of oil palm was over 18 million hectares, but there are an estimated 1.1 billion hectares of land which are suitable for oil palm cultivation globally. Of this suitable land, 86% is encompassed by nine countries, across South East Asia (the current center of palm oil production), as well as Latin America and Central and Western Africa.

oil palm suitability_temp crop

Suitability map based on annual average temperature

oil palm suitability_Cold crop

Suitability map based on temperature of the coldest month

oil palm suitability_precipitation crop

Suitability map based on annual precipitation

oil palm suitability_dry season crop

Suitability map based on length of the dry season

legend oil palm suitability

combined suitability optimal management

Combined suitability map under an optimal management scheme

 

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