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Section 1 – What does this mean?
Adaptation means helping people protect themselves from the devastation of climate change. In tandem, we need to protect nature and natural environments with one million animals and plants facing extinction out of a total of eight million species known to exist.
In 2022, records have been broken for droughts, heat waves, and wildfires highlighting that people need help today with the climate crisis. One of the successes of COP26 was the creation of a work programme for adaptation, but progress has been slow. This is because the impacts of climate change are accelerating, the correct response is very local, there is no one size fits all, and the most affected have the least resources to fund any programme.
Section 2 – What this means for you
Knowing what you can do as an individual to help communities be more resilient can seem very remote until it directly impacts our homes and lives.
However, many of the small choices we make can collectively have a huge impact on nature and local resilience, both positive and negative. This is the food we eat and the stuff we buy. As an example, one thing we can do is avoid high-risk ingredients we eat that can cause deforestation.
Section 3 – Avoid Palm oil
The production of many commodities is transforming regions and countries and making communities and the natural environment less resilient as it does so.
Palm oil is one example, and palm oil production in Indonesia has led to the felling of rainforests, home to orangutans, rhinoceros, tigers, and thousands of other species, threatening many with extinction. About 12 million hectares of forest on Sumatra have been cleared in the past 22 years, a loss of nearly 50%.
This is due to significant global demand for palm oil, which is a vegetable oil that is highly efficient, cheap, and very versatile. It is grown in tropical areas, and swathes of rainforest felled to produce it, often through fires, which cause pollution to surrounding areas. Palm oil can be grown sustainably, but much of it is not. Unsustainable palm oil leads to deforestation and accelerates climate change.
Your palm oil checklist
Some people try to avoid palm oil completely. Others try to avoid unsustainable palm oil.
You can do this by:
Changing some of our regular habits and encouraging people we know to do the same, can play a role in helping to protect nature and bringing pressure to bear on companies who are loath to change.
Thank you to our partner Giki for their contribution to this guide to COP27 Goal 2.