HERO OR VILLAIN ?
A hero of conservation in one part of the world is unknowingly, a villain in another part of the world… How can that make sense? I will tell you..
More and more African countries have made progress in seeing how important it is to create a constitution that incorporates sustainable management of the environment and proactive engagement with communities. These countries are far ahead of most of the countries in the western world, and they are great role models of conservation. Wildlife is increasingly being viewed as a great asset to boost tourism. One can see that community’ mindsets incrementally change; they start to think that wildlife is worth something and that it should be conserved and protected. The communities are writing history as heroes of conservation...
All heroes stories have an unknown Achilles, and you might be surprised by what I’m about to tell you.
If you go to any rural area, or even most supermarkets in Southern Africa, and many other countries in the world, you will struggle to find any cheap food product that DOES NOT contain Palm oil. Crackers, cookies, canned foods, soy, chocolate, cakes, pastry, bread, crisps, pre-battered fish and chicken, pizza, ice cream, cereal, peanut butter, wraps, and margarine all contains Palm Oil.
About 40 millions tons of palm oil, which is considered the cheapest cooking oil in the world, is produced each year, and 85 percent of it comes from Indonesia and Malaysia. In these countries, 30 square miles of forests are felled daily, and palm oil plantations account for the highest rates of deforestation in the world. The race to plant more oil palm trees is driving orangutans to the brink of extinction. If orangutans or entire ecosystems die out, it will be due to the global demand for palm oil.
In a state of ignorance we are feeding ourselves with “deforestation” AKA Palm Oil, and we are supplying rural areas with nothing but palm oil products because they are cheaper.. And we do all of this to ensure that the communities get enough "deforestation" energy to go out and be heroes of conservation in our own countries.
This is an inconsistency that is becoming more and more common in our world.
I met a volunteer who had worked with the orangutangs in Borneo, she told me this whilst eating crackers with Nutella ( both containing Palm oil)
Asking questions, leads to more questions, but hey t might lead to some changes too.. In Norway & the UK, several supermarkets have banned Palm Oil from all their products.
WE NEED TO FOCUS ON THE BIG PICTURE! WE HAVE A LOT TO LEARN FROM ONE ANOTHER.