Bloggers for the Indonesian EnvironmentGreenstump
is an occasional blogger here whose posts regularly offer that spark of kindred recognition. His most recent post
offers a list of Indonesian issues which he suggests, and I agree, are of infinitely greater concern than a few mindless thugs trashing the Danish embassy.
He's also made me realise anew that my occasional rants against the customer lack-of-service departments pale in significance when confronted with the massive greed and blatant disregard of human and animal rights perpetrated by world trade participants, and supported by the Indonesian government and conglomerates.
Did you know that the impending extinction of the orang-utan
is largely due to the demand for palm oil?
And not many people stop to think that these products contain palm oil
Indonesia plans to cut a 2,000 kilometer long, five kilometer wide swathe through one of the world's largest remaining areas of pristine rainforest to create a massive oil palm plantation. The project would destroy two million hectares of ancient rainforest in West and East Kalimantan, traversing almost the entire border with Malaysia, and slicing through three national parks.
These remote rainforests on the island of Borneo are home to countless species of rare birds, plants and mammals including the largest remaining wild orangutan population. This Chinese-funded "agricultural development" is almost certainly a thinly veiled ruse to access timber. Several studies have found the region is too mountainous to support effective palm oil farming, and is economically unviable as it would cost the country billions of dollars a year.
In the past many supposed oil palm developers have abandoned projects after completing rainforest clearance. Indonesia has huge land areas of abandoned, unproductive palm oil plantations and degraded forest areas that would be suitable for oil palm development. The project would be environmentally devastating to Borneo, a hotspot for biodiversity. Palm oil plantations - which completely clear the rainforests and are biologically depauperate - are the number one enemy of orangutans and all wildlife in Borneo. Orangutans need vast areas of interconnected forest to survive, and this ill-conceived project would speed up their extinction.
What can we do?
1. Read the (.pdf) report The Oil for Ape Scandal
2. Be further informed.
I've updated my Rain Forest Friends links list. If you think I've missed some worthy causes, please email me the URLs.
3. If you're a blogger here, please add your perspective, as Indcoup has, and c
ompile a blogroll.
4. Write to SBY, government ministers et al. Action Alert has a 'model' email.