‘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

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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.

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.

Primate Behaviour and Conservation Field Course in Costa Rica

The State University of New York and East Stroudsburg University are running Primate Behaviour and Conservation Field Courses in their research centre in North-East Costa Rica. The course is aimed at undergraduates or early level graduates who have little or no experience in the field, and 3 separate courses are being run over Winter and Summer.

The field station is set over 1000 hectares of lush rainforest, and the wildlife you will see and study includes white-faced capuchins, mantled howling monkeys, black-handed spider monkeys, tapir, jaguar, collared peccary, keel-billed toucans, great green macaws, brown caimans just to name a few. During your time there you will learn field techniques that can be used in tropical research in areas of ecology, behaviour and conservation.

To find out more about this amazing opportunity, please contact Kimberely Dingess on kdingess@danta.info, or read more at Primate-Jobs.

VOLUNTEERS: Conservation and Culture in the Amazon

Volunteer Latin America are looking for new volunteers to work on Conservation and Culture in the Amazon.

Situated on the equator, Ecuador is the smallest country in the Andean Highlands. Despite its size it is probably the world’s most bio-diverse country, crammed with an astounding variety of flora and fauna. Combined with its beautiful colonial architecture, magnificent panoramic scenery, vibrant indigenous groups and welcoming people it is one of the most enticing and rewarding countries to visit in South America.

This project is for people who want to actively engage in community development and conservation, experience the Amazon, and learn about the language and culture of indigenous communities. Volunteers can participate in a series of ongoing projects that include traditional farming, construction, trail creation, reforestation, nursery work, and other conservation/community activities. For more information visit EnvironmentJob.co.uk.

GREENPEACE Report on the Goldigging Government

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Greenpeace has released a damning statement, uncovering the alarming destruction of Indonesia’s rainforest. Between 2000 and 2005, an area the size of 300 football pitches was razed by logging EVERY HOUR, amounting to the highest rate of forest destruction ever witnessed. This carries on unchecked.

Greenpeace has urged the country’s government to put a stop to this immediately, and commit to a conservation plan to save the beautiful habitat and biodiversity by converting peatland forest and achieving a cut in fires. Continue reading

IFAW Campaign Survey

International Federation for Animal Welfare (IFAW) wants to know what we each think are the most urgent issues to be addressed with regards to environment and animal welfare – Whaling? Suffering pets? or Bear cubs?

Click Here, have you say and help shape the next worthwhile IFAW campaign.