Taronga Zoo is hosting a Palm Oil Symposium to help address the impact of unsustainable palm oil on wildlife Palm Oil production escalates in Africa.
Wildlife agencies intend to lead the move to sustainable production as quickly as possible in the face of predictions that palm oil consumption may triple by mid-century.
Taronga’s Director, Cameron Kerr, said: “Regional zoos and international agencies took the first step together at Taronga today to unite and support global companies’ switch to sustainable Palm Oil at the inaugural “Working Together towards a Responsible Palm Oil Future” Symposium.”
Organisations like Leif Cox’s new International Tiger Project are working to raise public awareness of the impact on wildlife of unsustainable Palm Oil production which is forcing this big cat out of its habitat in Indonesia as plantations expand illegally into remaining forest areas.
The organisations including Unmask Palm Oil, the Jane Goodall Institute, Zoos Victoria and Taronga, WWF, Auckland Zoo, Oxfam and the Borneo Orang-utan Society attended the symposium at Taronga’s Conservation Theatre.
Mr Kerr said: “Our aims are to get the community involved, work with Australian manufacturers to move to 100% segregated certified sustainable Palm Oil use, introduce clear palm labelling and support the genuine achievements of companies who are leading the market.”
“Many companies such as Unilever, Ferrero and Haigh’s are already making great steps towards this common goal and we’re looking forward to reporting on progress at the next symposium.”
Since 2011, Taronga has supported efforts through the Zoo’s ‘Raise Your Palm program to encourage consumers to choose sustainably produced Palm Oil.
An interesting tool to help consumers get involved is the Palm Oil Investigations (POI) world-first palm oil barcode scanner app which identifies the certification status of palm oil used in thousands of products on supermarket shelves. (Download at www.palmoilinvestigationsapp.com).