Posted on 14th November 2019 by Media Relations
We need to demand deforestation free palm oil, according to David Attenborough
In the latest episode of David Attenborough’s latest series, Seven Worlds, One Planet he witnesses dramatic deforestation in Borneo that has occurred through the years, and the impact on some of the world’s most amazing and endangered species.
But, he also calls us to action, supporting the demand for sustainable palm oil.
“We can protect wildlife by buying products made with deforestation free sustainable palm oil. From companies that support local people and use existing palm oil plantations without cutting down more rainforest.” - Sir David Attenborough
There has never been a more important time to support sustainable palm oil.
While it is the overly simplistic message about ‘bans’ that always manage to get the headlines, the reality is that the future of orang-utans, tigers and all of the other wildlife that are impacted by palm oil depends on an actual solution.
On the back of the series, Taronga has come together with world-leading conservation organisations to demand #sustainablepalm oil through the release of a joint statement calling for action.
You can see all the organisations involved in this here.
There is no doubt that wildlife need us now more than ever. The latest edition of the WWF Living Planet report is alarming to say the least. Populations of the world’s mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians have, on average, declined by 60 per cent in the last 40 years.
There is also no doubt that rainforests around the world have experienced devastating losses, cleared to make way for ever-expanding unsustainable oil palm plantations, particularly in Indonesia, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea. Agriculture for cash crops like oil palm, sugarcane and soybean has seen over 40 per cent of the planet’s once forested land cleared.
Over exploitation and agriculture are the key drivers of species decline – both driven by spiraling and runaway human consumption.
But, humans are not going anywhere, and we rely heavily on vegetable oil in our everyday lives.
In June 2018, the International Union of the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) released the Palm Oil and Biodiversity report, which provides an objective analysis of palm oil impacts on global biodiversity and possible solutions. The report found that given other oil crops require up to nine times as much land to produce than palm oil, its replacement would significantly increase the total land area used for vegetable oil production to meet global demand.
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.
If it’s grown sustainably, palm oil production can benefit local communities, and help to protect valuable species and forests. Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) is oil that comes from plantations that have been independently certified as meeting the standards of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).
We celebrate companies that use Certified Sustainable Palm Oil in their products. The more companies transform their supply chain, the more Australians can enjoy their favourite treat free from deforestation.
At Taronga’s Tiger Trek, over 100,000 messages of support from guests have been sent to some of Australia’s favourite and tiger-friendly brands.
Together, we have sent a loud and clear message to companies that use 100 per cent Certified and Sustainable Palm Oil to say thank you for doing their part to protect the environment and the people and wildlife that live in it.
You can read direct messages from companies to your collective emails here.
We can all play our part and follow Sir David Attenborough’s lead by demanding companies use 100 per cent Certified and Sustainable Palm Oil, the best way to protect the environment and the people and wildlife that live in it.