This season Earthlove members are helping support the work of Orangutan Alliance in raising awareness on the issue of non-sustainable palm oil.
Non-sustainable palm oil is damaging biodiversity on a global scale. It is estimated that 193 species labelled as critically endangered, endangered or vulnerable on the IUCN Red List are affected across regions in South East Asia, Africa, and Latin America, (IUCN) as a result of the negative impact of palm oil.
Palm oil is grown in the species-rich tropics, which is why this resource could potentially have catastrophic effects on global biodiversity.
Expansive use of this resource could affect more than half (54%) of the worlds already threatened land mammals, as well as 64% of threatened birds.
Deforestation for non-sustainable palm oil continues to increase at an alarming rate particularly in Indonesia, one of the main oil producing countries and the issue is exacerbated due to methods of land clearing used, including the slash and burn technique.
Unfortunately, this results in huge rainforests and peatlands being destroyed which also affects climate change. In addition to this, forest fires have become so significant that they have been known to damage respiratory health of surrounding communities and wildlife. When habitat is destroyed, species are either lost in the process or later face dangers of food shortages and human wildlife conflict.
Orangutans have become a symbol for deforestation in Indonesia which one of the. Their numbers have plummeted dramatically since 1999, as approximately 150,000 have been lost, through direct hunting, deforestation, or through human-animal conflict. Stats from the IUCN estimate that 1250 orangutans are killed every year resulting in the species falling in to the critically endangered list.
“Often we hear about problems we are facing like deforestation or loss of biodiversity and we feel it’s too complex to solve. Imagine what will happen if we don’t start” – Maria Abadilla, Founder of Orangutan Alliance
Statistics from the IUCN estimate that 1250 orangutans are killed every year resulting in the species falling in to the critically endangered list. Loss of habitat and wildlife conflict has also resulted in other species such as the Sumatran rhino, Sumatran tiger and Sumatran elephant all becoming critically endangered on the island.
As consumers we have the potential to change this. As population grows, with it the demand for vegetable oils such as palm oil also grows. it is not realistic to rely on one product as heavily as we do. Alternatives must be found and used. Orangutan Alliance has developed a reliable palm oil free certification that provides consumers choice to select the alternative when they shop.
This season portions of the proceeds made with the subscription box will be donated to environmental non-for-profit Orangutan Alliance to support their work in raising awareness, reforestation well as conservation of endangered species affected by this issue. For more information about their work and other certified products, please visit their website www.orangutanalliance.org