Save them now or lose them forever
WITH the population of orang utan continuing to plummet at a rate of between 1,000 and 2,500 a year, the need for more urgent action is clear. A coalition of three campaign groups plans to make 2013 the year when the killing has to stop: Centre for Orangutan Protection (Indonesia), Friends of the Orangutan (Malaysia), Nature Alert (Rest of the World).
Plans are underway to draw attention to the primary cause of the decimation of species like the orang utan: namely the palm oil industry.
The present population of orang utan is thought to be 50,000 to 60,000. The species will freefall to extinction in the next two decades.
We must not and we will not sit around watching this magnificent species be slaughtered by the rapid spread of oil palm plantations in Malaysia and Indonesia.
We must save the orang utan and to do this we need to save its habitat.
Living only in Borneo and Sumatra, orang utan are divided into two species: Sumatran and Kalimantan. In Sabah, there are only about 10,000 remaining, down from 40,000 in the late 1960s.
Sarawak has about 2,000 orang utan and the prospects for survival are bleak due to rampant logging. Sabah happily permits logging companies to destroy the forest forever.
This is a very sad reflection on those empowered to protect the species, namely the Sabah Wildlife Department.
The island of Sumatra has about 6,000 orang utan left and these are disappearing fast due to deforestation by palm oil companies demanding new land, including “protected” forests for their crops.
Kalimantan holds a rapidly declining population of some 40,000 orang utan. There are about 1,000 orang utan in rescue centres throughout Indonesia, the vast majority of them victims of the palm oil industry.
The Indonesian government admits orang utan have been deliberately killed at the rate of 3,000 a year for the last 25 years.
Unless palm oil companies do something now, orang utan will be killed until they are all gone. Year of the Orang utan will focus the world’s attention on the palm oil industry and its destructive, corrupt lust for profits at any price.
The palm oil industry is the biggest killer of orang utan and many other protected species. Prosecutions in Indonesia are rare and never happen at all in Malaysia. We demand the palm oil industry declares a “No Kill – Zero Tolerance” policy. And then back this up by involving NGOs and scientists in monitoring progress.
There is little time left to save this species. Habitat is sacrificed everyday to boost the bottom line of company balance sheets and satisfy shareholders.
Please give the oran gutan your support. These animals are an irreplaceable national treasure.