Did you know that the food you and I eat could be killing the last endangered orangutans in Borneo?
Orangutans are being burnt to death and starved as the forests they live in are razed to the ground. Why are these forests being destroyed?
Well, the forests are being cleared so that farmers can make room for thousands of miles of oil palm trees.
A UN report discovered that palm oil is in about half of all products sold in supermarkets – it is in everything from cooking oils and margarine, pizza and ice-cream and soap.
It is often used as an “eco-friendly” alternative to fossil fuels – but every time a farmer sets fire to the rainforest and underlying peatlands in Borneo, it destroys one of the world’s largest natural carbon sinks. And it kills orangutans.
Borneo, an island located in Southeast Asia, is split between the countries of Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei.
Borneo orangutans cannot be found anywhere else on earth. If we don’t act, they won’t be found in Borneo, either.
Governments are fighting back. The EU is very worried about this deforestation and it is phasing out palm-oil based biofuels for now. Indonesia is contesting this decision at the World Trade Organisation, and hoping it will make the EU back down and change its mind.
Luckily, some governments are fighting back. The European Union is particularly concerned about this deadly and rampant deforestation, and it is phasing out palm-oil based biofuels for the time being. Indonesia has responded by contesting this decision at the World Trade Organization, hoping to force the EU to back down and change its mind.
If you’re looking for products which don’t have palm oil in them, take a look at Natural Collection who have over 2,400 products which are palm oil free on their online shop.
Wildlife Conservation News
Peter Fearnhead, CEO, African Parks Network, South Africa
They were found when they were three months old in 2006 and they've been kept in barren enclosures since they were small cubs. They live in the president residence of Syniogora, in the south east of Lviv, Ukraine.
The conditions around them is awful. They are kept separated. They are in two small enclosures, with concrete floors, and no natural vegetation or enrichment at all! There's no protection from the sun or rain. The bears receive food just chucked over the fence. Their water and food containers are dirty. And the bears show stereotypical behaviour.
Four Paws want to move the President Bears to the Bear Sanctuary Domazhyr in Ukraine as soon as possible. Here they can enjoy a new life, full of care and freedom.
The good news is that Four Paws addressed the Ukrainian authorities after the recent change of presidency, and they've given Four Paws the thumbs up to relocate the bears and look after them.
Will you help Leo and Malenka enjoy freedom and the grass between their paws?
All you have to do is to spend £40 or more, and Green People will plant a tree. The World Land Trust know what they are doing. Since they were founded, they have planted over 2.3 million trees worldwide. And they work with local conservation groups to help save land for wildlife; their current appeal is to save forest and a wildlife corridor in Colombia. You can find out more here.
Now, this is only available on 21 March 2020 - but Green People are doing this sustainability offer one Saturday a month in 2020. Sign up for their newsletter and you can discover more about them and their offers and how they work.
The 21st March is International Day of Forests, so that's even more reason to give your support to the World Land Trust!
Oh, by the way.... did I mention Green People have an Organic Children Hand Sanitiser? And a Manuka and Lemon Tea Tree Antibacterial Hand Wash???
Head to Green People's website anyway, and go shopping! I use their products myself and I just LOVE them!
How did the coronavirus start?
Its outbreak in Wuhan, China, was suspected to be the starting point for the coronavirus. And a harsh light was cast on wildlife markets.
Huanan Seafood Market has a terrible range of live and freshly killed animals is thought to be the starting point.
The meat of 30 terrestrial animal species is at the market, as well as seafood. Pangolins, civets, squirrels, pheasants, scorpions, snakes and various rates are available there.
Wildlife markets do 2 things:
- They spread disease – it’s easy to see why when you just have to look at the terrible conditions in which these animals are kept
- These markets are driving species towards extinction.
We are heading towards a massive extinction – the 2019 UN report warned that up to one million animal and plant species could vanish forever.
In October 2020, China is due to host a UN conference on the Convention of Biological Diversity. Representatives from nearly 200 countries will look to find ways to stop the mass extinction.
Let's put pressure on China...
Now is a good time to put pressure on China and push for a worldwide ban on the wildlife trade.
Rainforest Rescue has a petition to shut down these markets once and for all. They are utterly barbaric and it’s high time they were stopped.
Deborah Tabart OAM is Chairman of the Australian Koala Foundation
And today, she sent out the most beautiful picture of an adorable koala, thinking it’s what we need right now. Deborah, thank you. It certainly cheered me up.
One of the things Deborah said in the email she’d sent us was that she thinks the issues we are facing – the wildfires around the world and the coronavirus – stem in part from our lack of respect for the natural world, our lack of care for animals and our need to develop at all costs.
I agree. I remember once reading a phrase, Look after the earth and she will look after you. Well, we have not looked after the world and she is finding it increasingly difficult to look after us. We reap what we sow. As Deborah says, we do not respect our planet, our forests, our rivers, our oceans. We exploit them and abuse them far too much.
My hope is that this virus will give us all the chance to reflect on what really matters and that it will give the planet a chance to do some healing. We need to look at how we are living and what we are doing, and really start thinking about what we want going forward.
The 21st March is International Day of Forests.
We need to love our forests around the world and to care for them like never before.
We are dependent on them.
Without forests that are in good health, we cannot be healthy. They are the lungs of our planet.
Without oceans and rivers that are in good health, we cannot be healthy. They are our blood supply.
Without air that is clean, we cannot be healthy.
Without biodiversity, the right balance of species across the planet – I include humans in that – we cannot be healthy. Every species has its place in nature – she has planned things pretty carefully and we are destroying that balance through activities dedicated to our own ends.
So back to our Koalas. Will you help put pressure on the Australian government to nudge them in the right direction and protect the koala, with the Koala Protection Act? Protect one species and you protect far more.
And keep safe
Images above ©Australian Koala Foundation