Thank you for sharing our concern for such
unsustainable production of palm oil and the impacts it has on biodiversity and
species which depend on it.
HSI is against the production of palm oil
which clears massive expanses of native forest, reduces biodiversity, increases
the vulnerability of the habitat to catastrophic fires and affects the local
communities that depend on the services and products provided by the forest
The conversion of land for oil palm
plantations by the clearing of tropical forests and peat swamps has massive
ecological consequences, on both a global and local scale. Oil palm plantations are essentially
monocultures that have replaced forests with an immense diversity of shrubs,
trees, vines, mosses and other plants, and which lack the food resources most
animals require to survive. Most of Indonesia and Malaysia’s terrestrial
species can only survive in rainforest habitat, not in plantations.
is in support of actions which reduce the impacts of palm oil production on
loss of biodiversity, and especially, the loss of orang-utan habitats. The Sumatran orangutan is classified as
critically endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, while the
Bornean orang-utan is considered endangered. Populations of both species are
decreasing rapidly and given the current rates of decline, it is likely that
they could become extinct in the wild within as little as 10 years.
In terms of carbon storage, deforestation
releases large amounts of carbon that is stored in the vegetation. Oil palm
plantations are estimated to hold even less carbon than a logged forest, made
worse by the fact that these plantations are only viable for 25 years. Furthermore, more and more plantations are
being cultivated on vulnerable peat soils, one of the largest
naturally-occurring carbon depots worldwide.
HSI is doing to help Orang-utans specifically
Working with our Indonesian partners, HSI has made an enormous effort
over the last twelve years, seeking to protect remaining Orang-utan populations
and helping injured mothers and orphaned babies, We have been successful in
helping conserve critical Orang-utan populations in Sumatra and Kalimantan, and
gaining a global commitment from the world’s nations at the Bali Climate Change
Meeting in December 2007, to find ways of protecting tropical rainforests in
Indonesia, the home of the last wild Orang-utan populations.
Our aim is to continue our current Orang-utan
conservation programs in Sumatra and Kalimantan, where we are studying
Orang-utan and human conflict issues and helping local peoples to take up
alternate work to illegal logging – and step up anti-poaching activities.
Our habitat restoration project is the longest running reforestation site in Borneo and has become a model for other efforts in the region.
We will also pursue, with extra special international effort, the protection of
all Indonesia’s remaining Orang-utan rainforest homes. With the increasing
demand for palm oil and timber, the fight is on to protect the remaining
habitats vital to Orang-utan survival.
you can do to help
Check ingredient lists for palm oil and palm
oil derivatives (see list provided below), or search online for lists of palm
oil free products.
To date, RSPO has certified 1.5 billion tons of ‘sustainable’ palm
oil. RSPO is heavily criticised, because
of its nature as a voluntary agreement, and that it remains to be influenced by
economic market pressures. RSPO criteria
still allows for clearance of peat forests and other endangered
ecosystems. Nevertheless, RSPO certified
sustainable palm oil is an improvement on business as usual, so by choosing
RSPO labelled products there is a better chance you are promoting the sustainable
production of palm oil and helping to reduce the impacts on habitats and
species which depend on them.
- Write to the Indonesian
Minister of Forestry* urging that he instruct his officials in
Kalimantan to prosecute all those who kill Orangutans and other wildlife
illegally, and to generally apply more resources to enforcing wildlife
laws in Kalimantan. Ask him to prohibit the actions of multi-national palm
oil producers in destroying Orangutan rainforest habitats, and prosecute
owners and managers who authorise the killing of protected wildlife.
Wanabhakti Blok I LT. 4
JEND. Gatot Subroto
– Jakarta Pusat
10270Your letter must be very polite,
congratulating the Minister for the conservation efforts he is making, but
stating clearly your request that they take very strong action against those
that kill protected animals. Send your
replies to us.
The generic “vegetable oil” label that commonly conceals the presence of
palm oil as an ingredient in packaged products, palm oil and palm oil
derivatives can currently be labelled as many different things. Click here for a PDF of these common ingredients, (82kB).
What can I do?
The team from ProFauna will be
spending 5 months of 2012 working in the heart of Borneo running school education
programs, intensive training of company officials and workers and garnering
local support for orang-utan conservation. This is an ambitious project but
this critical research has identified that conflicts around palm oil
plantations are accounting for such a large number of senseless and cruel deaths
that we must act now.
- Please help us
in the fight to save this precious species,
not just from the cruelty involved in these frenzied massacres, but from
extinction it is moving closer to every day.
- Buy responsibly by choosing Palm Oil Free Products
(PDF). Thanks to Borneo Orangutan Survival Australia
- Write to corporations and organizations that use palm oil and make them aware of the impact of palm oil plantations on the orang-utan population.
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