The rainforest must be cleared to prepare for planting. The first step is necessary because palm trees won’t grow well under closed canopies (treetops) of undisturbed rain forest. Palm plantations can range anywhere from 2 to 40,000 hectares in size. To bring those numbers into perspective, 1 hectare is equivalent to 2.4 American football fields. So anywhere from 5 to 96,000 football fields of rainforest are cleared to make way for a single palm plantation. Often the land is initially stripped of valuable timber to generate quick cash and then sits dormant, possibly for decades, or is completely abandoned due to lack of funds or conflict with local communities. This will lead to soil erosion which means top soil and nutrients are washed away by the heavy rains of the region. This makes the chances of forest regeneration unlikely.
What can be done?
Enforcement of the current Indonesian Presidential Instruction that bans the clearance of primary forest and clearance of peatland.