Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Palm Oil : 2

The effect of oil palm shocked my nine-year-old student, Isabella Wilson who, after visiting the zoo, went home and cleared her mother's pantry of all products containing the oil.

"I stopped buying shapes, noodles and Tim Tams. Tim tams were my ultimate favourite, so it was very hard to give those up," she says.

Inspired, Isabella also gave a speech to her schoolmates at Pt Chevalier Primary.

"We have the power to stop this mindless killing. Stop buying products that contain palm oil. Demand manufacturers to use other sources of vegetable oil, or palm oil that has not been harvested in Indonesia and Malaysia," she said.

Isabella has learnt one lesson: standing up for what you believe in can cost, but it can be worth it.

Television 3, Campbell live came to school, to interview Isabella. My school kids were very excited that TV came to our school.

With the "Don't use palm oil" culture in one camp in New Zealand, and having grown up in Borneo where the controversy is all about, when I went to Borneo, I had this issue in my head. I wanted to see how much of this is true. Admittedly, I was only at the north tip of Sarawak/Borneo. The sky was hazy, visibility was low. But it was also the season of the traditional slash and burn season of the natives. The environmentalists claim that slash and burn would not result in such a big scale haze. So bad was the haze in Malaysia that they scaled down the National Day Celebration.

Here's some of the photos I took from the plane from Miri to Mulu. I did feel sad to see vast patches of jungle had been cleared. The photos are blurred either from the haze or cloud.

1 comment:

Kathryn Magendie said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving nice comments!

What is this with palm oil? I need to read into this!