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It is considered a versatile, high-yielding super crop. Palm oil is found in everyday products from shampoo to biscuits to chocolate and it is also touted as the green alternative to fossil fuels.

It is a billion dollar industry providing much needed employment and national revenue across Southeast Asia.

But critics say the expansion of palm-oil plantations in Indonesia and Malaysia is having a devastating effect on forests, wildlife and indigenous people.

On this edition of 101 East, we ask if the palm oil industry can strike a balance between profits and environmental protection.

Joining the programme are Mahendra Siregar, Indonesia's deputy trade minister, Rikke Netterstrom from the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, and Bustar Maitar from Greenpeace Southeast Asia.

 
101 East airs each week at the following times GMT: Thursday: 2230; Friday: 0930; Saturday: 0330; Sunday: 1630.

Click here for more 101 East.

Source: Al Jazeera