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Abstract

The process of deforestation has large environmental implications on terrestrial as well as aquatic habitats. Palm oil plantations lead to sedimentation and agricultural runoff into streams and rivers. Such high nutrient inputs could lead to eutrophication, bioaccumulation, and toxic blooms, which could lead to changes in aquatic ecosystems as well as drinking water quality for surrounding communities. Pollutants from streams and rivers are furthermore, channeled down into estuarine and coastal marine ecosystems, thus negatively impacting those areas as well. One possible way to reduce the amount of runoff is by treating the waste produced by palm oil mills as well as converting the waste into biogas. This could make the mill self-sustaining or allow it to produce surplus energy for additional economic gain.