Sustainable Does Not Mean Destroying Rainforests and Starving Orangutans!

  • by: Susan V
  • recipient: Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO)
Bumitama Gunajaya Agro (BGA) has cleared Borneo’s rainforest for miles, with total disregard for the well-being of the orangutans and other primates living there.

International Animal Rescue Indonesia (IAR) staff has found a few traumatized and starving orangutans remaining in the ruins, one clinging to what’s left of a tree and others wandering among the stumps. Others, they say, are trapped there and starving as well.

Orangutans, which are dependent on large contiguous rainforest areas, cannot survive on these cleared palm-oil plantations, leaving IAR staff no choice but to move them elsewhere. But as the palm oil industry grows, elsewhere is getting harder to find.

Further disturbing is that BGA claims to be a sustainable producer of palm oil - a member of the industry-friendly Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).

Sustainable doesn’t mean clear-cutting rainforests and starving orangutans. Tell RSPO to ensure that all of its members are producing actual sustainable palm oil!

We, the undersigned, are disturbed by BGA’s reckless ruining of rainforests, as well as its and RSPO’s deceptive claims of sustainability.

According to Animal Rescue Indonesia, RSPO, is a mislabeled organization, composed of the world’s largest palm-oil producers, which does not rule out rainforest destruction. “Only primary and “high conservation value” (HCV) forests have been considered off-limits,” says ARI, and these HCV areas have not even been clearly established. 

It is also surprising and disturbing that this organization, according to ARI, was founded in cooperation with World Wildlife Fund, which claims that "The RSPO has developed Principles and Criteria on Sustainable Palm Oil Production to ensure that palm oil production is economically viable, environmentally appropriate and socially beneficial," but admits that only a "handful are making adequate progress on the road to 100% RSPO compliance." 

Furthermore, adds ARI, RSPO’s principles of human rights are also in question, as farmers and indigenous people are threatened and/or arrested if they resist displacement off their lands, and these violations usually go unpunished.

We request that BGA stop the destruction of Borneo’s rainforest immediately and that both BGA and RSPO either live up to or end their deceptive claims of sustainability.

Thanks for your time.


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