Indonesian Palm Oil

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Last night, I saw a screening of the fantastic film Green by Patrick Rouxel. The movie tells the sad tale of a female orangutan in Indonesia who loses her home, and life, to loggers growing palm oil. Palm oil is used in millions of products around the world – from cosmetics to candy bars. In fact, Greenpeace recently launched a boycott of Nestle because of their ties to palm oil in Indonesia. Nestle has cut its ties with some of its suppliers, but Greenpeace wants more.

The Indonesian rainforests are a major part of the earth’s ecosystem and their destruction is a loss for all of us. There was also just a recent article in La Presse on the deforestation in Indonesia and how it is controlled by organized crime. Money talks. While deforestation in the Amazon has stabilized, there are some cases of really strong protection of forests, notably in the Dominican Republic. In the Dominican Republic, tree harvesters would be shot on site if they were found illegally cutting trees. The result is that the DR has a lot of vegetation and though not a rich country, it is far better off than its neighbour, Haiti. Deforestation really matters and the film Green outlines the impacts on humans and wildlife. You can watch the entire film online for free, here.