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The killing must stop in 2013

September 17, 2012


From JE, via e-mail

I would like to add my support to the campaign launched by three NGOs to try and save the orangutan from extinction (Letter 10/9/12 2013: The Year of the Orangutan) and ask that others do so, too.

I think it is a brilliant idea by Friends of the Orangutans (Malaysia), The Centre for Orangutan Protection (Indonesia) and Nature Alert (rest of the world) to come together and focus on next year as the one when the killing of this red ape has to stop along with the persistent devastation of orangutan, and other supposedly ‘protected’ species, habitat.

The campaign groups make no bones about it: it is the rampant and voracious palm oil industry that is behind the deaths of tens of thousands of orangutans since it first planted its destructive feet on Borneo and Sumatra.

The world needs to know this. I would ask that more conservation and orangutan NGOs take advantage of this campaign and speak up against the invasion by the palm oil industry so that people worldwide know how completely unethical and malignant it truly is. In fact, don’t wait til 2013, speak up now.

I read recently that this industry wants to embrace environmentally-friendly, green technology. This strikes me as a lot of PR-speak. If there really is a commitment to stopping the decimation of rainforests, bodies which run the palm oil industry such as the MPOC should, as a matter of urgency, adopt a Zero Tolerance No Kill Policy. They have a great opportunity to do so at the annual RSPO meeting next month in Singapore.

A species hurtling towards oblivion, as the orangutan is, needs immediate and decisive action, not a lot of hollow promises that could take years to come to fruition. Orangutans don’t have time to waste.

The plain fact is that the palm oil industry kills everything in its path and orangutans have the great misfortune to be at the top of its killing list as they ‘get in the way’ of its aggressive expansion.

Instead of going round Australia and Europe marketing itself as benign and caring, the palm oil industry needs to stop murdering orangutans, first and foremost. What is it waiting for?


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