Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Save the world:Save endangered animals - the orangutans


Starting this week, I have been teaching sustainability, palm oil and the orangutan. I grew up in Borneo, and the orangutans are endangered species in Borneo and Indonesian island of Sumatra. Palm oil is labelled as the bad fellow.

When I travel to West Malaysia along the North South Highway, I see acres and acres of palm oil trees. These trees were planted on old rubber estates that were planted with rubber trees a hundred years ago. These palm oil trees do not cause the orangutans to be endangered.

However, when I go to Borneo, and on the plane, I see virgin rainforest replaced by palm oil. This is what Green Peace is objecting about. Clearing virgin primary forest to make way for palm oil plantation. This is where the orangutan's habitat is threatened. I visited an orangutan rehab.

How do we label that the oil is not from the orangutan threatened area? Someone needs to make a distinction. Otherwise everything will be lumped together in the boycott.

Here is an email from Green peace. It is not necessarily my view that all palm oil should be boycotted.

Dear Ann,

We took on Nestlé over its use of palm oil and, with the help of hundreds of thousands of people like you, we won - in eight weeks flat!

Together we demanded Nestlé give the orangutans a break and stop buying palm oil harvested at the expense of Indonesian rainforest for products like Kit-Kat.

And after some initial resistance Nestlé has now released a policy that commits the global chocolate giant to ensuring its products have no deforestation footprint.

It wouldn't have happened without you and the hundreds of thousands of people who supported our campaign. You e-mailed Nestlé, faxed them, called them, and spread the word via Facebook, Twitter and other social media channels.

Starting with the now infamous viral kit kat spoof video on youtube, then on to Nestle's own Facebook page and out through the wider social media sphere - this was most definitely an online campaign powered by the people.

Meanwhile, here in NZ recently we've recorded a record number of submissions opposing the Schedule 4 mining and organised the biggest protest march in a generation - largely through our online networks.

With our combined numbers online we're really starting to get results!

Help us get ready for the next fight by joining us on Facebook and sharing the page with your circle of contacts.

If you're not a Facebook user forward this message to anyone you know who might be interested in helping us fight the good online fight.

Thanks for your support,

- Nick and the team at Greenpeace


khengsiong said...

That's the dilemma. We want to conserve the forest, but we also don't want people to starve. It's a delicate balancing game.

I wrote a post on similar theme just before Earth Day 2010. Click here to read.

Ah Ngao said...

the orang utangs our closest relatives...,yeah we're doing the right thing by saving there habitats,i.e curbs deforestration

Cheryl said...

Well done!

Ensurai said...

With lots of money many companies can employ PR to make their images good.

Sometimes the truth is not forthcoming....until it is too late. That is the tragedy of modern days.

I believe that moderation is good. No one says you cannot cut a tree. But it is wrong to take the whole forest away from those whose life and culture depends on it.

And even the orang utans need the forest...


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