Oil palms gain ground, and critics, in region


Iván Flores stands at the corner of what he terms “the desert.” On one side is a green wall of forest. On the other, a vast expanse of exposed, reddish-brown soil crisscrossed by drainage ditches and studded with small palm trees. When people from the palm oil company first asked a few years ago to cross his family’s land for access to the then-forested area, Flores thought little about it. But when he and his neighbors began hearing the snarl of chainsaws and saw flames light up the nights for more than a week, they began to worry. Late last year, he learned that the same company had obtained title to about half the forest behind his land. He contends the move was... [Log in to read more]

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