Palm oil in West africa (by NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC )

In Gabon, one of Africa’s most forested countries, palm oil is coming home, and a boom may be on the horizon. Situated on the Equator and on the continent’s west coast, Gabon is roughly the size of Colorado with a third of the people. More than 76 percent of the country is covered in forest, with 11 percent of its land area protected in national parks. It’s a wildlife wonderland. “It’s exactly the kind of large, intact forest you want to protect from any kind of development,” says Glenn Hurowitz, CEO of Mighty Earth, a Washington D.C.-based environmental organization that has criticized Olam’s palm oil operations in Gabon. “There’s so much degraded land [across the tropics]. Why would you se

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