The rainforest is being felled for Palm Oil and other crops at an overwhelming rate with the remaining forest being degraded by drought and forest fires. Extinction of orangutans in the wild is likely in the next 10 years for Sumatran Orangutans and soon after for Bornean Orangutans.
Orangtuans are 97% genetically identical to humans. Orangutans are highly intelligent animals. Their intelligence is comparable to that of a five or six year old child. The blatant hunting and torture of these animals is absolutely abhorrent. Companies incentivise plantation owners and workers for productivity. Removing the "nusiance" orangutans is an ongoing and unobstructed activity. Government and corporate corruption know no bounds when the almighty dollar is at stake.
And what drives these shameful actions? Us.
We eat food and use products every day made from palm oil and its derivitives. The majority are unknowing - trusting that the world's corporations are "doing the right thing" by us. Some folks even subscribe to the "survival of the fittest" mentality. It's better us than them. I can't even continue with this thought; it gets me so frustrated and annoyed at the short-sightedness in the world.
Protecting the orangutan also protects the surrounding ecosystem and myriad of endangered and exotic species. Saving the orangutan saves the forest.
So sadly, the fight to save the orangutans goes on.
On 15th April 2012 we posted this video by Carlos Quiles. Saving Leuser, Tripa.
Recently, Australian Orangtuan Project Victorian State Representative Amber Partington visited Tripa. Here we share her story and her plea. Yes it's an Australian perspective but the message is global.
"On June 6th, I recently visited Sumatra, in particular an area called Tripa Peat Swamp Forest. Words cannot describe the devastion of what Jess and I witnessed.
|Tripa Peat Swamp Forest|
Three weeks prior, forest stood right where I am standing in this photo. Canals have gone in draining swamp, killing trees. Large hardwood trees, logged and sold. Rest of forest burnt. Palm Oil plantations planted where forest once stood. Local people kicked off land, threatened with their lives if they talk. All protected land under Indonesian law. MAJOR corruption = MAJOR problem.
As Australia (and other parts of the world) does NOT import Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO), [this has a direct effect], forest is destroyed, local people displaced and many animal lives lost. [Goodman Fielder is one of Australia's largest companies and the largest importer of Palm Oil. Their products including Meadow Lea margarine includes Palm Oil.]
Therefore we are asking Goodman Fielder to make a public commitment to use Certified Sustainable Palm Oil in their products by 2015.
It would mean the world to me if you could add your name to this important issue. Every name that is added builds momentum around the campaign. And hopefully, more likely for us to get the change we want to see. (Blog note: Hey! It worked for KFC changing to canola oil - we can do it!)
After you've signed the petition please also take a moment to share it with others."
Victorian State Representative
orangutan.org.au| facebook.com/australianorangutanproject | twitter.com/ausorangutan
For you to appreciate these amazing great apes even more, here's a couple of videos.
1 - Shawn Thompson is a writer passionate about orangutans. His book The imtimate Ape is a must read. In preparation for his second book, Shawn heads back to the orangs. There's some funny bits in this and whilst it is a bit warm and fuzzy, it's a tear jerker for me!
2 - Ami (Borneo tour guide) and Jana join forces for this cute song celebrating not only orangs but the primates of Borneo. Stunning video footage shows those fun loving macques dive bombing into the river and gibbons leaping great distances, and a gorgeous orangutan stealing pen and paper and using them!
This video clearly demonstrates how much humans are encroaching upon wildlife habitat and how encounters are more and more common. The chorus repeats a bit but by the end of the 4 minutes I was singing along.
These videos and more can be found on our youtube channel right here
If these tasters haven't got you sold on these amazing creatures, perhaps a ONCE IN A LIFETIME TRIP will do it.
ONLY TWO SPOTS LEFT ON THE
LEIF COCKS SUMATRA TOUR5th - 14th November 2012
See orangutans up close and personal the way they should be seen - in the jungles of Sumatra, and make a personal difference by directly contributing to the organisations helping to save the red ape from extinction.
Under the auspices of eco tourism group, Orangutan Odysseys, raising funds for the Australiam Orangutan Project, who in turn support the local NGO, the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme, you will be guided through jungles, on an exclusive expedition led by two men who know orangutans and this location like few others in the whole wide world; Leif Cocks, one of Australia's foremost authorities on orangutans and the other guide, the most respected orangutan rescuer in Indonesia.
You will have to fight me for a space I think!
Please contact the Australian Orangutan Project directly:
Victorian State Representative
IT GETS WORSEThe impact of the Palm Oil industry in Indonesia spills over. Read Celine's article posted June 17th 2012.
Southeast Asian Haze: Who’s To Blame?By Celine Fernandez WALL STREET JOURNAL
“The haze comes from Sumatra and Kalimanthan. Which companies own the estates? Malaysian and Singaporean as well as local plantation owners,” he said. As a result, “Malaysian and Singaporean companies in Indonesia also have to bear the responsibility of open burning, of slashing and burning, that is happening within their estate territories.”
The sun rises through a thick haze over the skyline of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on June 17.