We previously reported on the human rights abuses in the palm oil industry and its devastating impact on the Indonesian orangutan population, but could it be that the industry is killing off tigers too?
In its most recent report, “Licence to Kill”, Greenpeace International slammed one major palm oil trader – Wilmar, based in Singapore – for its role in driving Sumatran tigers toward extinction.
“Licence to Kill” reveals that although Wilmar has made an effort to preserve high conservation value (HCV) forests and peatland on its own concessions, these areas supply less than four percent of its total palm oil production. The remainder is sourced from third-party suppliers: companies whose operations have been alleged to include deliberate forest fires, as well as the extensive clearance of Sumatran tiger habitat.
The report also points to the existence of illegal palm oil plantations within Tesso Nilo National Park in the Riau Province of Sumatra, which allegedly have been used to supply Wilmar.
Bustar Maitar, head of Greenpeace’s Indonesian Forest Campaign, said in a press release, “Until Wilmar commits to a no-deforestation policy, their trade of palm oil to big household brands such as P&G, Mondelez and Reckitt Benckiser make consumers unwitting accomplices in the extinction of Indonesia’s 400 remaining Sumatran tigers.”
His colleague Yuyn Indradi, Greenpeace Southeast Asia Forest Campaigner, points out in the same press release that commitments made by members of the Palm Oil Innovation Group, or by Nestlé (who last year pledged to strengthen its “no-deforestation commitment” and promised to implement a series of responsible sourcing guidelines), “prove that an end to forest destruction is possible.”
He adds that, “Wilmar must use its position as a so-called leader to make a genuine contribution to Indonesia’s development, rather than destroying the future for its people, its wildlife and the global climate on which we all depend.”
We, Green Monsters, can also make a difference by voting with our wallets and making it clear to big corporations that we will not condone any action that causes such untold suffering to both humans and animals. Looking to boycott products that use palm oil? Check out our handy guide that rates companies from one to five stars.
Image Source: William Warby/Flickr