“Oil palm cultivation has expanded tremendously around the world. Indonesia and Malaysia are the epicenter of this development. In these two countries, new plantations have led to 3.7 million hectares of forest loss of during the last 20 years. Demand for palm oil remains high and there is now evidence that the palm oil boom might spill over to Africa. In fact, the first oil palm plantations were planted 100 years ago in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). In 1958, 147 thousands hectares of oil palm plantations were established in the DRC, but several decades of political unrest and mismanagement led to the abandonment of most of the plantations. Now things are changing: in 2009, 100,000 hectares of plantations have been acquired for rehabilitation and a number of companies have shown interest to invest in the palm oil sector in DRC. In order to better identify potential trade-offs between further oil palm plantation expansion, forest conservation, and land use planning in DRC, we have assessed the biophysical suitability of palm oil.” View the report and maps on Moabi…