10.10.10

Greenpeace International has teamed up with 350.org, 10:10 and other worthwhile organisations to host a Global Work Party on 10/10/10. It’s an international initiative, and already has many events organised in every continent. The thrust of the day is basically to bring individuals within a community together for “the biggest single day of action against climate change the world has ever seen.” Anyone can organise an event in any area, all you have to do is advertise it on the Greenpeace website and get planning! Current activities range from; swap shops, a vegan banquet, unplugged gigs, fitting solar panels, workshops, and film screenings. There’s sure to be something near you, but if not, why not try your hand at planning your own? It doesn’t have to be a big event, or raise money, just awareness. Sunday October 10th 2010 is going to be a fantastic opportunity to  for everyone who thinks we should be doing something about climate change to have fun whilst getting involved in the cause, and maybe even learning something new!

I look forward to seeing some of you locals at events in London. And whatever you do, enjoy yourself!

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Bolivian Circus Baboon!

A Baboon that was rescued from awful conditions in a Bolvian Circus has been shipped over to the UK to live out its old age in a Berkshire monkey sanctuary. The Bolivian government handed over Tilin, an 18-year-old Hamadryas baboon, after a campaign by Animal Defenders International (ADI). The Bolivian Government banned the use of domestic and wild animals in circuses in April, so cases are still frequently being found across the country, although this is a good sign that the law is being successfully enforced. Up until he was rescued, Tilin lived a solitary life chained up most of the time, and performing for crowds for the rest. No life for a beautiful wild animal. Hopefully he will be able to regain something close to normality with other primate species around him in a comfortable environment.

Read More about Tilin on the BBC’s website

AOP Palm Oil Facebook Thread

I came across a discussion thread on the Australian Orangutan Project‘s Facebook group set up by the general public for the general public.  It is basically a great pool of knowledge from people who are trying to shop more consciously when it comes to Palm Oil. It contains; lists of products that are Palm Oil free, websites that sell products that are Palm Oil free/use sustainable Palm Oil, correspondance with big companies about their use of unsustainable Palm Oil, and Palm-Oil-shopping tips! I love it as although you have to trawl though the posts, there’s loads of stuff I didn’t know on there that can help me do my bit. So what are you waiting for….. do your bit too!

‘Green’ Palm Oil Goes Into The Red

After it became popular knowledge that Palm Oil production was linked to massive deforestation, people were calling for the companies to find greener ways to produce the Palm Oil – and prove it.  Therefore the Malaysian companies hired auditors to certify that they were not felling protected rainforest, and keeping their supply chain clean. However, it seems all-important European consumers have forgone the extra cost this has accumulated in associated products in favour of not-so-“green” cheaper price tags. The recession has been blamed for this, however the Palm Oil companies feel they have been persuaded to spend what seems to them to be unnecessary money by their western market, only to hit a brick wall when trying to sell to the very same consumers! The Chief Executive of the Malaysian Palm Oil Council said “We have been led down the path of false hope in selling environmentally-certified palm oil and now the buyers are not keen on paying for the premium”. This could be a massive dent in the global fight to wipe out illegal deforestation by Palm Oil companies, as if they have no financial incentive to change their ways, there may be no persuading them from now on.

Read more: Consumers shun ‘green’ palm oil

Jane Goodall Institute Celebrates Half Centenary

2010 marks a very special year for the Jane Goodall Institute and its founder. Fifty years ago, Jane first set foot on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, in what is now Tanzania’s Gombe National Park, and began the research that would inspire thousands of primatologists and conservationists, even to this day. Her story is an amazing one, starting with her saving her earnings as a waitress to make the trip abroad. She arrived with only a notebook, a pair of binoculars, a self-taught knowledge of the natural world, and an amazing enthusiasm for the world’s creatures. It is incredible to look at the wealth of achievement that has come from this, and I believe Jane’s is the perfect story to illustrate that anything can be achieved if you are passionate and dedicated enough. Becoming involved in animal research, especially for the conservation of endangered species, should not be viewed as an opportunity only for those lucky enough to hold a doctorate or similar. It is a cause that should embrace all that love and believe in it. Everyone can contribute, on whatever level, all you need is a bit of determination!

Congratulations to Jane and everyone who has been involved in her amazing projects over the years. You have inspired me and many, many others.

Tiny Tarsier Caught on Film

The BBC website has a 2 minute 45 second clip of one of the smallest primates in the world in its Earth News section. The Spectral Tarsier is notoriously difficult to catch on film, as not only is it only 13cm tall, it is also nocturnal. Its eyes do not reflect light like other nocturnal animals, so they are very difficult to see in the dark. However, David Attenborough’s team managed it whilst filming for their Life series, and throughout the short clip, you are able to see many of the wonderfully perfect adaptations natural selection has provided these creatures with; their paper-thin, bat-like  mobile ears for catching noise of a potential prey, their huge eyes for catching every ray of moonlight, their ability to pounce on quick-moving prey from 5 metres away, and their sucker-pad fingers to aid precision landings. Not only is this clip a credit to the Life team, it is also a delightful demonstration of the elegance and fantastic attention to detail in the natural world, which has created the marvellous adaptation and diversity we see before us today.

GAFI Films for Conservation Education

Whilst browsing Primate awareness charities the other day, pondering inventive fundraising ideas, I came across the GAFI Initiative. It caught my eye due to the fact it was promoting conservation through the medium of film, which I found beautifully simple in itself. However after reading further, I found they actually run film courses for people of any ability or experience to learn the basics that would enable them to make their own nature or conservation film. I love the potential ripple effect this could have – teaching budding conservationists/filmakers the skills they need to produce what their creative minds crave, all for a common cause. Not only this,but GAFI work in collaboration with GRASP and Filmakers for Conservation to screen their films to the communities that live in and around areas of conservation or endangered species. Providing education to these people is paramount in the ongoing progress of conservation projects, and GAFI is doing an excellent job of using simple modern media to do this.

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