Sri Lanka to Ban Palm Oil Imports, Raze Plantations over Environmental Concerns

Environmentalists have welcomed the Sri Lankan government’s surprise decision to ban palm oil imports into the country and raze existing plantations, but others say the science justifying the move is unfounded.

The government made the announcement in an April 5 gazette, citing recommendations from an expert panel formed by the Central Environmental Authority (CEA). The panel had identified soil erosion and drying of springs as among the potentially irreversible impacts of oil palm plantations on the island’s biodiversity and livelihood of local communities. Its report, published in 2018, outlined several recommendations to create the foundation for banning oil palm cultivation on the island.

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