30,000 Taronga guests raise their palm for tigers

30,000 Taronga guests raise their palm for tigers

#Sustainability, #Taronga Zoo Sydney

Posted on 29th July 2018 by Media Relations

Taronga Conservation Society Australia today announced on International Tiger Day that more than 30,000 Taronga Zoo Sydney guests have pledged their support to use products containing RSPO-certified (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) sustainable palm oil.

These champions for the wild have called on more companies to help protect critically endangered species such as the Sumatran Tiger by joining the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil and transitioning to 100% Certified Sustainable Palm Oil. At present, only 19 per cent of global palm oil supply has been certified by the RSPO.

Taronga Zoo Sydney’s Tiger Trek, which opened almost one year ago, shows guests the direct relationship between the critically endangered Sumatran Tiger, livelihoods in developing economies across South-East Asia, and consumer choices in Australia. Since opening in August 2017, guests who have experienced the Tiger Trek have sent 60,000 emails to companies in recognition of their commitment to using RSPO-Certified Sustainable Palm Oil.

Certified Sustainable Palm Oil is crucial to preventing the extinction of the estimated 350 remaining Sumatran Tigers now remaining in the wild, after recent reports that the Tigers’ habitat is fragmented due to land clearing for unsustainable palm oil production. Previous estimates indicated as few as 400 of the apex predators remained in the wild in Indonesia.

Taronga Conservation Society Australia is a member of the RSPO, a non-profit organisation that works to promote the growth and use of sustainable palm oil products through credible global standards and commitment from farmers, producers and manufacturers, with the aim of protecting both wildlife and livelihoods in developing economies.

Cameron Kerr, Director and CEO of Taronga Conservation Society Australia said that by buying products containing Certified Sustainable Palm Oil, individual Australians can help critically endangered species including the Sumatran Tiger through simple shopping choices.

“We all know the importance of using environmentally-sustainable products and palm oil is no different. The oil itself is not the problem – the problem lies with how and where it has been produced. Palm oil is a highly productive oil when compared to alternative vegetable oils. This means that crops for alternative oils require larger amounts of land to produce equivalent amounts of oil and would be even worse for wildlife,” said Mr Kerr.

“Taronga Zoo Sydney’s Tiger Trek represents a paradigm shift for wildlife conservation education for our guests. It’s been inspiring to see more than 30,000 guests appreciate the power of nature that tigers represent, and making the commitment to sustainable shopping choices that can save these majestic, yet critically endangered animals in the wild,” he said.