Save the Sumatran tiger
Deforestation for palm oil is driving Sumatran tigers toward extinction. As few as 400 tigers are thought to remain in the rainforests of Sumatra, which are vanishing at a staggering rate – a quarter of a million hectares every year. Expansion of oil palm and pulpwood plantations was responsible for nearly two-thirds of the destruction of tiger habitat from 2009 to 2011, the most recent period for which official Indonesian government data are available. Such destruction fragments the extensive tracts of rainforest over which tigers need to range in order to hunt. Even Sumatran tiger habitat in protected areas such as the world-famous Tesso Nilo National Park has been virtually destroyed by encroachment or illegal palm oil production, and government officials acknowledge that protection for such areas exists only on paper.
Greenpeace’s investigations have revealed that household names including Colgate Palmolive, Mondelez International (formerly Kraft), Neste Oil, Procter & Gamble, Reckitt Benckiser and a host of other companies are linked to Singapore-based Wilmar International Ltd and its international trade in dirty palm oil. Wilmar is the world’s largest palm oil processor, accounting for over one-third of the global palm oil processing market and with a distribution network covering over 50 countries.
A win for Greenpeace
Greenpeace’s lobbying has recently cause Wilmar to make some changes – they are now committed to a No Deforestation policy.
‘Effective immediately, Wilmar will not engage in development of HCS, HCV, or peat, nor knowingly source from suppliers engaged in development of HCS, HCV, or peat.’
What does this mean for the Sumatran tigers?
To put this into perspective, palm oil is the single biggest cause of deforestation in Indonesia and a growing threat in places like Africa. Wilmar controls over a third of the global palm oil trade; but by banning its suppliers from destroying forests and peat lands, Wilmar’s policy could be an important step toward transforming the palm oil sector. Wilmar’s policy could be a landmark win for the world’s forests and the people and tigers that depend on them for their livelihoods.
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How you can help
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