Summarizing the Crisis.
Palm Oil comes from the fruit of the oil palm tree that grows in a tropical environment, which is also the same habitat as the endangered Sumatran and Bornean orangutans. Research shows us if something doesn't stop the spread of the plantations, the forests will be gone in ten years.
•Supply and demand pressures are driving the production of palm oil up to an all-time high. Found in cookies, crackers, frozen dinners, shampoo, lotions, cosmetics, pet food, and many other products, palm oil is now the most widely produced edible oil. It is also found in a wide array of products sold in natural food stores, and it is being used as a possible fuel alternative.
•Millions of acres of rainforest in Borneo & Sumatra are cut down each year to plant more oil palm. After logging rainforest habitat, palm oil companies often use uncontrolled burning to clear the land or peat swamp. In 1997-98 a devastating fire killed almost 8,000 orangutans in Borneo.
•Instead of using already cleared land, some companies choose to cut down healthy rainforest. They gain added profits from the timber, and they can ignore the regulations that sustainable plantations abide by.
•The increased demand for palm oil is fueling destruction of the rainforest habitat of Sumatran and Bornean orangutans, pushing those endangered species even closer to extinction. Estimates show that if something isn't done soon to stop the spread of palm oil plantations into the forests that harbor these orangutans, they will be extinct in ten to fifteen years.
•There are so many things you can do to help turn back the tide of this crisis and make a difference for wild orangutans.
Palm Oil Shopping Guide
With the health concerns, the demand for palm oil has reached a all time high. This oil can be found in a variety of products such as cookies, crackers, shampoo, beauty products, pet food any many more. Supporting companies who are members of the RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil) is the most responsible solution. Click the heading above for a printable Palm Oil Shopping Guide. There is also ongoing research to find other uses for palm oil. One is the possibility of using it as a fuel alternative. With the demand so high, this oil has become the second most widely produced edible oil.
Learn about the complex issues surrounding palm oil-from the origins of the crisis to the facts about palm oil, rainforests, orangutans and biofuel-and the ways we can work together to protect this endangered species.
You can also download the list of Orangutan Friendly Sustainable Palm Oil Halloween Candy
from the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo by clicking here
You Can Help!
If you are concerned about the effects of increased palm oil production on orangutan habitat, we suggest you:
- Read product labels. Know which companies use palm oil in their products.
- Educate yourself and everyone you know about the palm tree crisis.
- Write to your favorite companies and supermarkets to educate them on the importance of using certified sustainable palm oil when it becomes available, and/or ask them to avoid using palm oil.
- Try to avoid wood products, such as furniture and picture frames, made from teak, ebony, sandalwood, ironwood or mahogany.
- Download the Palm Oil Shopping guide for free here.