A lovely write up by the ABC has just been published explaining what our guide Bain and his friends at the Orangutan Green Team are doing to protect the orangutan from the palm oil industry. Talk about the ability of a local community to take action and protect the things they love. Palm oil is the number one threat to the jungle in Borneo and those amazing creatures that reside there.
Rather than standing by and watching palm oil get closer and closer to Tanjung Puting National Park, Bain and his friends have been raising money to buy land themselves and protect it from palm oil plantations. Read more about the Orangutan Green Team initiative in this article and if you’re interested in donating to the cause, get in touch with us and we can let you know how.
If you’re not sure what all the fuss is about palm oil, here’s a quick overview from the people at Palm Oil Action:
In the recent wave of trying to avoid trans-fatty acids, the processed-food industry has turned to palm oil as an alternative for partially hydrogenated oil. China and India are the main importers of palm oil. Tragically, this substitute is a far from healthy option if you are an orangutan. It is not good for human health or the environment either…
The increased demand for palm oil – which is obtained from the fruit of the oil palm tree and can be grown only in tropical environments – is fuelling destruction of the rainforest habitat of Sumatran and Bornean orangutans, pushing those endangered species even closer to extinction.
These endangered species include the Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae), the Sumatran Orang-utan (Pongo abelii) and the Bornean Orang-utan (Pongo pygmaeus).
If something isn’t done soon to stop the establishment and expansion of palm oil plantations into the forests that harbor these orangutans, they could be extinct within twenty years.
Supply and demand pressures are driving the production of palm oil up to an all time high. Palm oil is now the world’s most widely produced vegetable oil. Palm oil is found in many everyday products including biscuits, crackers, batters, chips, shampoo, skin care and beauty products, in different varieties of pet food and many others. It is also found in a wide variety of products sold in natural food stores. Palm Oil is also used as a biofuel. It has been estimated that the annual world biodiesel requirement by 2050 could be as much as 277 million tonnes, twice the vegetable oil production in 2008 and seven times the total palm oil production.
You can also find lots of resources on which products in Australian supermarkets are palm oil free or using sustainable palm oil. Check out these sites: