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Tagged : borneo


Nature in Danger: Orangutans are gentle apes facing extreme threats

February 22nd, 2013

Bornean and Sumatran orangutans face a lethal cocktail of threats that could drive them to extinction: Habitat loss caused by forest-clearing paper and palm companies; potential kidnapping by poachers in the exotic pet trade; and isolation. But you can help.

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A parade of palm oil products

September 11th, 2009

By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now

Digging into the palm oil debate, an urgent issue to many environmental groups, our reporter Ashley Phillips found herself slipping into a swamp of material.

For years, there has been a volley of claims and counter claims about the environmental and humanitarian consequences related to palm oil production.

The UN Environment Programme has blamed the massive destruction of rainforest in Malaysia and Indonesia for producing such a volume of manmade greenhouse gas emissions that it ranks behind only the US and China. These gases are released as the native rainforest is cleared to install or expand palm plantations, and it is exacerbated by the slash-and-burn clearing that is a double whammy to the atmosphere — removing carbon-holding rainforest while spewing carbon from massive wood fires.

Seemingly the only thing happening faster than the destruction of the rainforest in Southeast Asia is the consumer demand for palm oil which turns up in every 10th product at the grocery by some estimations.

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Sustainable palm oil? Not so fast…

September 11th, 2009

By Ashley Phillips
Green Right Now

Palm Oil, an ingredient found in most processed food, has been the subject of much environmental debate in recent years over its role in deforestation. It is commonly found in cooking oil and as an ingredient in cosmetics, soaps, detergents, and some plastics. Palm oil also has been considered for use in the production of biodiesel.

There have been many attempts to make palm oil sustainable. The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) was even established in 2003 to do just that. Unfortunately, six years later, there is still no system that can effectively trace palm oil beyond the processor to the plantation level. Companies that manufacture products using palm oil have little way of knowing where the controversial substance originated — which leaves the question of whether and to what degree palm oil is sustainably farmed up in the air.

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