A rally was held against Malaysia’s attempt to promote the benefits of palm oil. Palm oil plantations result in the deforestation of orangutan habitat.
The rally was held outside the Metcalfe Auditorium at the State Library of NSW as the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) were holding a ‘Sustainability and conservation efforts by palm oil industry’ conference inside.
The protest was organised by Janelle Tuero, who is associated with the Palm Oil Action Group, Borneo Orangutan Survival (BOS), Orangutan Project and the Centre for Orangutan Protection (COP).
Speaking to Digital Journal, Janelle explained, “Bornean Orangutans are a different sub-species of the Sumatran. You’ve got the two kinds, Sumatran and Bornean; and the Bornean ones - their population is about fifty odd thousand. But they’re also getting wiped out at about fifty odd a week. Although three weeks ago another 116 were killed in East Kalimantan and in central Borneo they killed another three hundred.”
Digital Journal asked Janelle whether deforestation was the main issue? “Yes. Well, they’re losing the average of three hundred football size fields of primary rainforest every hour 24/7. If you fly over it now, you’ll go hundreds of kilometers with just palm oil – no rain forest.” She said.
Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) conference
About the MPOB conference, she had this to say “The Malaysian government’s got delegates down here for a conference on the advantages of palm oil. Well there is none: Bad for the forest, bad for your health, bad for the orangutans.”