Wednesday, 31 March 2010

SHAME ON AUSTRALIAN SUPERMARKETS

PERSONAL NOTE:I hope our Australian friends will write to the newspaper and shame further these companies who are letting down the orangutans and Australia.

The news desk address is newsdesk@smh.com.au

---------------------------------------------



http://www.smh.com.au/national/supermarkets-under-fire-over-destruction-of-orangutan-habitats-20100331-rexc.html



Supermarkets under fire over destruction of orang-utan habitats

MELISSA SINGER April 1, 2010 Sydney Morning Herald

HOME-BRAND biscuits, dressings, and even shampoo, are contributing to the destruction of orang-utan populations in South-East Asia faster than their branded cousins, a report reveals.

The Palm Oil Buyers' Scorecard, produced by the World Wildlife Fund, ranks Coles and Woolworths at the bottom of a table of six leading food and grocery companies. Each of the supermarkets scored two out of a possible 29, beaten in Australia only by Goodman Fielder, which scored 4.5.

Companies were assessed on their use of palm oil and their willingness to adopt more sustainable and transparent practices, which could include clearer labelling, buying palm oil that is ''certified sustainable'' and buying offset certificates, similar to carbon credits.

Unilever and Cadbury, which has announced it is switching to Fair Trade sources of cocoa, scored 24.5 and 24 respectively. Lydia Gaskell, a WWF spokeswoman, said Australian food companies were ''way behind'' on sustainability. ''There hasn't been a direct link between what we're buying in Australia and what's happening in Indonesia and Malaysia, even though they are our neighbours,'' she said.

The United Nations Environment Program says palm oil production could wipe out 98 per cent of orang-utan habitats by 2022. Ms Gaskell said Australian companies had no excuse for adopting a ''wait and see approach'' on palm oil.

In response, Woolworths announced this week it would switch to 100 per cent sustainable palm oil by 2015 and use palm oil substitutes where possible. It will also clearly state where a product contains palm oil, which is often disguised as generic ''vegetable oil''.

Palm oil use has soared in recent years because it is cheaper than other oils and contains no trans-fats, although it is high in saturated fat. Armineh Madirossian, Woolworths's group sustainability manager, said only 5 per cent of premium home-brand products on the Select label contained palm oil.

Coles said it had already removed palm oil from many of its home-brand products and was the first retailer to adopt transparent labelling on a ''broad scale''.

A spokesman for Goodman Fielder, Ian Greenshields, said the company would purchase Green Palm certificates because of the high cost and concerns about the integrity of single-origin sustainable palm oil. ''The systems available for certification thus far have not been absolutely robust,'' Mr Greenshields said.

Certified sustainable palm oil costs about 60 per cent more than non-sustainable oil.

Martin Pritchard, a palm oil spokesman for Friends of the Earth, said the WWF had ''broken ranks'' with the environmental movement by joining the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).

He encouraged Woolworths to pursue its bid to join the RSPO. ''It's the best of the worst schemes available,'' he said.

Fans have gone ape over Nestlé's Facebook profile

Fans have gone ape over Nestlé's Facebook profile


http://www.marketingweek.co.uk/opinion/fans-have-gone-ape-over-nestl%C3%A9s-facebook-profile/3011743.article

Sime to spend RM3b-RM5b on palm estates

Sime to spend RM3b-RM5b on palm estates

http://www.btimes.com.my/Current_News/BTIMES/articles/20100331165719/Article/index_html

Mass animal grave found at China zoo

Mass animal grave found at China zoo

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jPXQDc3oLj2Q4XWISNaH6D-RFP5A

NGO’s Reject Palm Oil Plantation Revitalization Plan

NGO’s Reject Palm Oil Plantation Revitalization Plan

Wednesday, 31 March, 2010

TEMPO Interactive, Balikpapan:A number of environmental NGOs united to reject the government’s plan to revitalize palm oil plantation in Indonesia. According to the NGOs, revitalization is seen to put palm oil farmers at a disadvantage.

“Actually, who is the revitalization policy aimed for? Because it will only profit national and international palm companies,” said the Head of Sawit Watch campaign department, Jeffry Gideon Saragih, Monday (29/3).

The 18 million hectare palm oil revitalized plantation land, he said, will be obtained from people’s plasma palm plantation which are considered not economical. “They seize it in various ways, using subtle methods, including force,” he explained. Seven people have been arrested by the police for refusing to revitalize their lands in Banyu Asin Musi and Sanggau. Meanwhile, four persons in South Tapanuli are missing.

Instead of revitalization, Jeffry proposed aid in the form of fertilizer, pest control and credit facility from banks.

SG WIBISONO
http://www.tempointeractive.com/hg/nasional/2010/03/31/brk,20100331-237024,uk.html

Supermarket's palm oil plans questioned

Supermarket's palm oil plans questioned

http://australianetworknews.com/stories/201003/2860844.htm?desktop

Oil conglomerate 'secretly funds climate change deniers'

Oil conglomerate 'secretly funds climate change deniers'

A current day example of Economic Hit Men as highlighted in the book
mentioned yesterday. See book comment in post below. This is what we are all up against.......and you need to know this.


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/7538934/Oil-conglomerate-secretly-funds-climate-change-deniers.html

Nestle in ape row truce bid with Greenpeace

Nestle in ape row truce bid with Greenpeace

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/Green/2914471/Nestle-in-ape-row-truce-bid-with-Greenpeace.html

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

BBC - Earth News - Folk medicine poses global threat to primate species

BBC - Earth News - Folk medicine poses global threat to primate species

http://news.bbc.co.uk/earth/hi/earth_news/newsid_8589000/8589551.stm

Woolworths announces green action plan

http://www.freshplaza.com/news_detail.asp?id=61264


another company dragging things out to that seemingly magical date of 2015.
The palm oil they need is available now.
Five years to change. Shameful.

Forestry Department Announced East Kalimantan Forest Violators

Forestry Department Announced East Kalimantan Forest Violators

Tuesday, 30 March, 2010

TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta: The Forestry Department has listed at least 150 forest exploration violations cases in East Kalimantan and has ordered other provincial administrations to report similar violations in their respective regions.

Director General of Forest Protection and Nature Conservancy of the Forestry Department Darori said “There were two companies found exploiting resources within the Bukit Soeharto (Soeharto Hill) Great Forest Area,” a conservation area for research and educational purposes of Mulawarman State University.

The companies are PT Artha Pratama Jaya dan PT Kaltim Batu Manunggal, with the first one has mined about 40 hectares of areas in the conservation zone.

Darori also admitted that the two mining companies were just small fraction of over a dozen other breaching into the national park.

The Forestry Department said it has sent a team to investigate all the cases, adding that among all regiona East Kalimantan and North Sumatra were probably identified with some of the worst forestry violations.

PINGIT ARIA
http://www.tempointeractive.com/hg/nasional/2010/03/30/brk,20100330-236721,uk.html

Singapore a Global Hub for Wildlife Trafficking: Activists

Singapore a Global Hub for Wildlife Trafficking: Activists


http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/home/singapore-a-global-hub-for-wildlife-trafficking-activists/366615

Pöyry: The economic hit men of the pulp industry

Pöyry: The economic hit men of the pulp industry

Highly recommended if you want to know what really happens behind closed doors.

http://chrislang.org/2009/02/06/plantations-poverty-and-power-section-3/#poyry


It's from a report about Europe's role in the expansion of the pulp industry in the South.

Monday, 29 March 2010

Eye opening books

For those with an interest in the wildlife trade and CITES - an organisation I do not disguise my contempt for; read this book and you will (probably) be amazed. To this day, if you want to make loads of money, all you need to do is bribe one or more CITES officials.


Subject: The Lizard King: The True Crimes and Passions of the World's Greatest Reptile Smugglers:

Please search the book at Amazon.co.uk: Bryan Christy:


check out the authors web site at http://thelizardkingbook.com/



and if you want to see and read why I am so cynical of government loans etc to countries like Indonesia, feast your eyes on this book. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man: The Shocking Story of How America Really Took Over the World


http://www.amazon.co.uk/Confessions-Economic-Hit-Man-Shocking/dp/0091909104/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1269893294&sr=1-1

Asia's Wildlife Trade - National Geographic Magazine

Asia's Wildlife Trade - National Geographic Magazine


If you only read one article this year on the wildlife trade, I suggest you make it this one by National Geographic.


For those of a sensitive nature you might not want to click on the photos section of the first page (left side with a tiger photo, just click on the copy below the photo) you will see when you click this link. But, to not look would be avoiding the reality of what is happening out there. This is an 18 page article, so stick with it.


Click on the link below.

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2010/01/asian-wildlife/christy-text/1




BBC One Programmes - Panorama, Dying For a Biscuit

In case you are a new visitor to the Blog.



BBC One Programmes - Panorama, Dying For a Biscuit

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00r4t3s

Social-Media Sites Become War Front for Nestlé

Social-Media Sites Become War Front for Nestlé

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304434404575149883850508158.html

Sunday, 28 March 2010

DOE to nail 15 for open burning

Saturday March 27, 2010

DOE to nail 15 for open burning

By STEPHEN THEN The Star


MIRI: Fifteen major companies will be prosecuted for allegedly causing the recent choking haze through open burning in northern Sarawak.

The Department of Environment (DOE) is seeking the approval of the Attorney-General’s Chamber to nail the culprits with fines of up to RM500,000.

Miri division DOE chief S. Siva Nathiran told The Star yesterday that the 15 were very big companies, with at least three of them considered giants in the oil palm industry.
He said that the companies had sparked off the recent two-month-long wildfire frenzy through their open burning, which in turn had caused the haze that had threatened the health of 300,000 people in the city.

“We are not going to show them any more mercy. We will no longer issue compounds. We are going to bring them to court.

“These offenders are not small-scale farmers. We issue compounds of RM2,000 to small-scale offenders, but these companies are huge ones that had caused so much harm to the people and the environment because of their irresponsible attitudes,” he said, adding that the DOE was already preparing the investigation papers and would forward them to the Attorney-General’s chambers.

“We are going to charge the culprits under Section 29a of the Environment Quality Act 1974 that carries a maximum fine of RM500,000 or five years’ jail or both upon conviction. We hope for the heaviest possible penalty because these are very big companies,’’ he said.

Siva said the penalty sought by the DOE against the culprits would be a lesson to all because the recent wildfires caused by these companies had resulted in at least 24 huge fires that had raged on for up to three days, four fires that lasted 12 days and three more fires that lasted more than 13 days.

He stressed that the wildfires had not only caused the choking haze that threatened the health of thousands of people, but also caused losses worth millions of ringgit because a lot had to be spent to tackle the fires.

“The various government departments are spending a fortune to stop these fires. We spent almost RM100,000 just to carry out daily aerial surveillance to detect the fires.

“The Drainage and Irrigation Department also had to build check dams at fire sites and dig very deep tube wells to get underground water to douse the fires. The check dams cost up to RM100,000 each and the tube wells RM300,000 each,” he said.

He said the Fire and Rescue Department also had to acquire big high-pressure water pumps at a cost of RM1mil.

“We (DOE, JKR, Drainage and Irrigation Department) are also going to construct water retention ponds and canals at the fire sites at a cost of RM1.3mil. This is taxpayers’ money,’’ he added.

Meanwhile, the Sarawak Natural Resources and Environment Board (NREB) is also cracking down on burning on vacant state land.

State controller Peter Sawal said the NREB had identified seven landowners who had burned waste on their land.

The NREB will charge them under the state environment laws that carries a RM30,000 maximum fine or three years’ jail or both upon conviction.

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2010/3/27/nation/5944662&sec=nation

Indonesia Minister Says Nestle Has ‘Right’ to Cut Off Sinar Mas

Indonesia Minister Says Nestle Has ‘Right’ to Cut Off Sinar Mas

March 25, 2010, Bloomberg

By Achmad Sukarsono

March 26 (Bloomberg) -- Nestle SA’s decision to stop buying from Indonesian palm-oil producer Sinar Mas Group over deforestation concerns is “perfectly normal,” the country’s environment minister said, suggesting the government doesn’t plan to protest.

“That’s their right as a consumer,” Gusti M. Hatta said in an interview in Jakarta yesterday, speaking of Nestle’s decision. “If there’s a clear violation, then I would cut them off without mercy,” he said, adding an investigation into the country’s biggest maker of palm oil is ongoing.

Nestle’s dropping of Sinar Mas sparked calls for the government to speak out on behalf of the palm-oil industry, which produces the country’s biggest agricultural export by sales. The Indonesian Palm Oil Association last week said the Vevey, Switzerland-based company’s decision was “unfair.”

“We need intervention from the government because the impact could reach other palm oil companies,” Libria Sefita Dewi, a palm oil analyst at PT Mega Capital Indonesia, said in a phone interview. “The image of Indonesian palm oil producers could become so bad that a defense is necessary.”

Nestle’s action came after a Greenpeace report said Sinar Mas illegally destroyed rainforest areas that are a key habitat for orangutans.

Unilever NA suspended deliveries from Sinar Mas in December and U.S. food provider Cargill Inc. may stop doing business with Sinar Mas if a global trade body validates the Greenpeace report, the company said yesterday on its Web site.

‘Responsible Land Clearing’
PT Sinar Mas Agro Resources and Technology, Sinar Mas’s palm-oil unit, is “committed to applying responsible land clearing and the best practice of farming management in all of our plantations,” President Director Jo Daud Dharsono said by phone on March 17.

“It’s not fair if major companies such as Nestle and Unilever dropped supplies from Indonesian producers just based on one report,” Fadhil Hasan, executive director at the Indonesian Palm Oil Association told reporters in Jakarta on March 18.

The country’s palm-oil exports may rise to 18 million tons this year from 15.5 million tons in 2009, the Indonesian Palm Oil Association said Jan. 26. Sales reached $10 billion last year, the association said.

Coal Mines
Legislation that takes effect next month will give Indonesia’s Environment Ministry power to revoke business licenses and permits without having to go through police. The ministry will first use the new law to crack down on coal producers in Borneo “because there are companies that have built mines in forested areas without approval,” Hatta said, without naming them.
“Almost half” of more than 1,500 mines appearing in Indonesian Borneo in the past decade are illegal, he said.

Larger producers such as PT Bumi Resources and PT Adaro Energy “tend to be good” in managing the environment, Hatta said. Some businesses have “misinterpreted” the government’s intent to enforce the new law, Hatta said.

“We’ll give time” to the companies to deal with their environmental issues “although we’ll strictly monitor the progress,” he said.

Rules governing the oil industry will be clarified within a year, he said, and “tolerance” will be given to mature oil fields.

The energy ministry is seeking a three-year delay on enforcing existing environmental rules. Applying them immediately could lead to a 40 percent drop in oil and gas output, energy ministry official Evita Legowo said Feb. 24.

Southeast Asia’s biggest economy expects to produce 965,000 barrels of oil per day this year, compared with 949,000 barrels a day last year, according to energy-ministry data.

http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-03-25/indonesia-minister-says-nestle-has-right-to-cut-off-sinar-mas.html

Nestle's palm oil debacle highlights current limitations of certification scheme

Nestle's palm oil debacle highlights current limitations of certification scheme

http://news.mongabay.com/2010/0325-palm_oil_rspo.html

Dial N for Néstle | Greenpeace UK

Dial N for Néstle Greenpeace UK

http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/blog/forests/dial-n-n%C3%A9stle-20100324

Casino makes palm oil pledge

Casino makes palm oil pledge

http://www.ausfoodnews.com.au/2010/03/26/casino-makes-palm-oil-pledge.html

Thursday, 25 March 2010

ORANGUTAN PHOTOS ETC.

OVER THE COMING WEEK I WILL BE ADDING A LOT MORE PHOTOS AND NEWS TO THE BLOG CONCERNING ORANGUTANS.

If anything you see or read upsets you, imagine how the orangutans must feel. I hope whenever I post a name and email address of someone to write to and voice your opinion, you will. Staying silent will change nothing.

Thank you.

Do you know someone who shares your interest in orangutans?

Do you know someone who shares your interest in orangutans?

If so. Why not send them the link below to this blog? Orangutans need all the help in the world to avoid further persecution and possible extinction.

This is the link
http://naturealert.blogspot.com/ and it will take you only seconds to send it to as many of your friends as you wish to. Will YOU do this now please?

Many thanks.
Nature Alert

Indonesian Planter Sinar Mas to Seek Review of Greenpeace Accusations of

March 25, 2010
Bloomberg & Jakarta Globe

Indonesian Planter Sinar Mas to Seek Review of Greenpeace Accusations of
Sinar Mas Group, the palm oil producer losing customers amid allegations it has destroyed rain forests, said it plans to appoint independent groups to assess the claims made by Greenpeace.


“We are currently engaging independent external certified bodies to verify the Greenpeace reports,” Fajar Reksoprodjo, corporate communications manager at PT Sinar Mas Agro Resources and Technology, a unit of Sinar Mas, wrote in an e-mail on Thursday.

Nestle, the world’s biggest food group, and Unilever stopped buying palm oil from Sinar Mas after the Greenpeace report, in decisions described as unfair by the Indonesia Palm Oil Association (Gapki). Cargill has also said it may stop buying from Sinar Mas if the environmental claims are correct and Sinar Mas takes no action. Indonesia is the biggest palm oil supplier.

“We have reiterated our commitment not to develop areas” that have “high carbon stock and conservation value,” Reksoprodjo wrote in the e-mail, sent in response to questions. Unilever accounted for about 3 percent of sales, while Nestle bought 0.2 percent, the e-mail said.

In a related development, the Ministry of Agriculture plans to meet with officials from 18 of the country’s palm oil companies to seek ways to deal with the latest campaign against the country’s palm oil producers.

Achmad Mangga Barani, the ministry’s director general of plantations, said on Thursday that the government was concerned that the move by Nestle to stop buying Sinar Mas’ palm oil could have a systemic impact on the local industry.

“We’ll hold the meeting on Monday,” Achmad said, adding that the participants would include PT Bakrie Plantation, PT London Sumatera Plantations, PT Sampoerna Agro, Sinar Mas, PT Wilmar International and state-owned companies PT Perkebunan Nusantara IV, V and XIII.

“Basically we want to discuss what steps need to be taken next to cope with the continuously negative campaign,” Achmad said.

What happened to Sinar Mas could also hit other companies, he warned.

Palm oil is Indonesia’s most reliable export commodity. It is exported worldwide, especially to China, India and Europe, for basic ingredients of food and cosmetic industries. The total plantation area has grown dramatically, from 1.13 million hectares in the late 1980s to about 7.13 million hectares at present.

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/business/indonesian-planter-sinar-mas-to-seek-review-of-greenpeace-accusations-of/365826

Scientist Doubts Indonesia’s Leadership in Climate Talks

March 25, 2010
Fidelis E Satriastanti The Jakarta Globe

Scientist Doubts Indonesia’s Leadership in Climate Talks

Recent policies favoring mining and palm oil plantations make the nation’s claims that it holds an important role at climate-change negotiations nothing more than lip service, a climate scientist said on Thursday.

“Everyone can claim that they have big roles [on climate-change negotiations]. It’s going to be different if others state that,” said Daniel Murdiyarso, a senior climate scientist who is a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He added that Indonesia’s claim to such a role was contradicted by “recent policies on mining and agriculture.”

Indonesia first came under the spotlight at climate-change negotiations in 2007, when it hosted the 13th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, resulting in the adoption of the Bali Action Plan.

The initiative had five main targets: deeper cuts in emissions, mitigation of harmful effects, boosting adaptation, transferring key technologies for countries that need them, and hammering out funding mechanisms. The Bali accord also set a deadline for final agreement on those issues at UN climate summit in Copenhagen last year.

Fitrian Ardiansyah, program director for climate and energy at WWF Indonesia, said the country had the chance to show strong leadership at the negotiation table after the Bali climate talks but never took the opportunity. All it had to do, he said, was “guard the Bali Action Plan from the moment they declared it, make sure the negotiations stayed faithful to that plan.

“Compared with the BASIC countries [Brazil, South Africa, India and China], we don’t really come out as a key country, even though we have had some share of the negotiations,” Fitrian said. “It’s not about having the country’s name on the declaration; we haven’t figured out our [bargaining] position.”

Agus Purnomo, head of the secretariat at the National Council on Climate Change, disagreed that Indonesia had no significant role, noting that the country held a unique position as advocating the “middle path.”

“We are the first [major] country to announce our emissions target, which was then followed by other countries. We made that pledge when no countries have done it. So I don’t think our role is that small,” said Agus, adding that Indonesia’s middle path had opened opportunities to approach all parties.

Furthermore, he said, the benefits of being in the middle did not come automatically but would bring advantages in the long run.

“It’s not in our nature to whine or to be angry all the time like most countries, but we are there to listen to other parties and try to solve [the problems],” he said. “I think the middle-path position is not well understood and is being underrated.”

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/news/scientist-doubts-indonesias-leadership-in-climate-talks/365879

SPOTLIGHT: Huge profits drive illegal trade

SPOTLIGHT: Huge profits drive illegal trade

http://www.nst.com.my/articles/12tes/Article/index_html

SPOTLIGHT: Orang Asli among the main culprits




SPOTLIGHT: Orang Asli among the main culprits

http://www.nst.com.my/articles/12rsx/Article/index_html

Cargill threatens palm oil supplier over deforestation

Cargill threatens palm oil supplier over deforestation

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/79510d4c-37af-11df-88c6-00144feabdc0.html

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

THE ORANGUTANS THE MALAYSIAN TOURIST AUTHORITY HOPE YOU WON'T SEE.














THE ORANGUTANS THE MALAYSIAN TOURIST AUTHORITY HOPE YOU WON'T SEE.

This male spends a lot of time locked up behind bars at the decrepid JOHOR ZOO.

More photos below this one.

A magnificent male orangutan - behind bars and in a concrete tomb














A magnificent male orangutan - behind bars and in a concrete tomb at Johor Zoo.
LIFE IMPRISONMENT, TORTURE AND ABUSE is how the Malaysian government likes all wildlife to be treated - contrary to their projected image in the media.

SHAME ON MALAYSIA

Johor Zoo, Malaysia. This female orangutan I observed literally begging to be thrown a lighted cigarette. She carried with her the butt of an extinguished cigarette, all the time acting with more and more frustration.

When no one threw a cigarette to her, she took to ripping a coco-cola can apart with her teeth. Then she led down looking to me as she was suffering severe withdrawal (from nicotine) symptoms. The zoo and government authorities don't care.




Save the orangutans

Worth a look.
-------------------------------


Save the orangutans

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2010/03/24/save-orangutans.html

Great apes know they could be wrong

Personal note: Great apes are being killed in their thousands every year whilst people like thse are paid good money to study captive apes and arrive at these conclusions. Sickening.
----------------------------------------------------

Great apes know they could be wrong

http://esciencenews.com/articles/2010/03/24/great.apes.know.they.could.be.wrong

Indonesia Merging Deforestation Rules to Spur Carbon Trading

The only people who will benefit from REDD money are the polluters, government officials (inc EU), consultants, greedy environmental groups and those working scams. REDD money will not stop pollution and it will not reach those intended in Indonesia.
---------------------------------

March 24, 2010
Fidelis E Satriastanti The Jakarta Globe


Indonesia Merging Deforestation Rules to Spur Carbon Trading

Less than a year after finalizing them, the government is set to untangle regulations aimed at reducing deforestation and forest degradation in a bid to attract carbon-trading investment.

Wandojo Siswanto, head of the climate-change working group at the Forestry Ministry, said the three regulations to be reviewed all cover the same ground, including demonstration activities, carbon-storage activities and Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation procedures.

REDD is a United Nations initiative aimed at reducing carbon-dioxide emissions from deforestation and degradation. In the scheme, rich nations provide incentives for developing countries to preserve woodlands.

“We want to review [the regulations] so people have a better understanding which one to follow,” Wandojo said.

The regulations are to be combined into one because they are all tied to a single purpose.

Indonesia is the first nation to establish a legal framework for REDD, which has not yet been implemented at international level, Wandjojo said.

“We want to keep the lead in the world and also at the negotiation table, and we have been trying to look at troubles for investment” resulting from the regulations, Wandojo said.

“We want to make sure that this [new regulation] can be easily implemented,” he said.

He added that the review was expected to be finalized before the Mexico climate summit in November.

The World Bank says 20 trial schemes are in various stages of development in Indonesia. Banks, including Merrill Lynch and Macquarie Group of Australia, are among the investors.

Indonesia is also under increasing international pressure to curb deforestation, particularly illegal logging.

The fate of indigenous peoples will also be dealt with in the revised regulation, offering legal grounds for tribes struggling to claim forests as their homes and their main source of support.

The first regulation, issued in December 2008, focuses on pilot projects for REDD, simply known as demonstration activities.

The second regulation, issued last May, deals with technical implementation for the REDD mechanism, starting with developers, verifiers and certifications. The rule outlines the rights and obligations of those who have implemented the scheme.

The same month, the ministerial regulation for procedures on carbon-storage activities was issued. It details benefit-sharing of REDD proceeds by the government, developers and local communities.

Commenting on the planned revision, Andri G Wibisana, an expert on environmental law at the University of Indonesia, said that it was not about reviewing the regulations but determining the country’s position at the inter¬national level.

“It’s obvious that overlapping regulations need to be sorted out. However, this is not just about the ministerial regulations but rather on clarity of the whole mechanism,” Andri said.

“There are no specific regulations made for REDD, even at the international level. There’s no standard for the measurement, definition and so on.”

Agus Setyarso, executive chairman of the National Forestry Council, said the government had not been very clear on where it wanted to go when it initially issued the regulations.

“From the beginning, the council strongly criticized the regulations, especially on the benefit-sharing part, because it is no different from concessionaires’ rights [HPH],” Agus said.

“REDD is to encourage people to take the initiative and help the government reduce emissions,” he said.

“They are supposed to be given incentives, not disincentives like this. I mean that these people should be rewarded for protecting forests and not merely trading carbon.”

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/news/indonesia-merging-deforestation-rules-to-spur-carbon-trading/365664

Sorrows of Sumatra

Personal note: A very good article which tell's it how it is. Recommended.

-------------------------------------------

Subject: Sorrows of Sumatra

Andre Vltchek - China Dialogue

http://www.chinadialogue.net/article/show/single/en/3544

Indonesia Trust Fund to Tackle Rampant Deforestation

Personal note: So. The British government has already given part of a £10 million grant to Indonesia, officially the most corrupt country in south-east Asia. Seems to me this is up there with MPs expenses, etc. in abuse of public trust and money. I have just returned again from Kalimantan (Indonesia Borneo) and I can tell you there is not a snowballs chance in hell of any British or EU money doing any good out there – it never has to date. This money will just ‘disappear’.
---------------------------------------------------------

March 23, 2010
Fidelis E Satriastanti The Jakarta Globe


Indonesia Trust Fund to Tackle Rampant Deforestation

Indonesia is set to establish a new trust fund to reduce the rapid rate of deforestation in the country.

The National Forest Trust Fund will collect money from donor countries, especially developed ones, to finance conservation projects and promote sustainable forest management.

Indonesia has one of the highest rates of deforestation in the world, losing almost two million hectares of forest every year.

Hadi Daryanto, director general of forest production at the Ministry of Forestry, said on Tuesday that the details of the fund were still being worked out between the government and potential donors.

He said officials were still considering whether to set up an endowment, where the money would be invested and the earnings spent, to spend the money directly or to establish a revolving fund.

The money, he added, would be managed by an independent organization, with the members of the board of trustees coming from local governments, academics, civil society and businesspeople.

Hadi said the government had already set up a trust fund in 2009 as a part of a debt-swap program with the US government under the Tropical Forest Conservation Act to save Sumatran forests.

“It’s basically a debt-swap program and only for Sumatra, but it’s going very well and has managed to collect around $3 million so far,” he said. “Now we want to establish one for all forest areas based on that experience.”

He said the move was also triggered by donors’ lack of faith in the climate change trust fund established by the National Development Planning Board (Bappenas).

On Sept. 14, 2009, the Indonesian Climate Change Trust Fund was launched to attract donor support for efforts to tackle climate change issues.

Basah Hernowo, the director of forestry and water resources conservation at Bappenas, said the ICCTF had a forest component so the two funds could possibly be merged.

“Basically, the forestry sector is much more ready [than other sectors], but it could confuse donors if there are too many trust funds,” Basah said.

In response to the reported lack of faith in the ICCTF, he said: “We only deal with the programs. The money will be managed by an independent organization and audited internationally, so don’t worry, we’re not taking the money for ourselves.”

Basah said the British government had committed 10 million pounds ($15 million) to the ICCTF and some of the money had already been allocated for climate change projects, which he predicted could get under way sometime in April.

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/home/indonesia-trust-fund-to-tackle-rampant-deforestation/365454

PALM OIL & AUSTRALIA

Letter received by a supporter in Australia.
------------------------------------------------------

Thank-you for your letter expressing concern for the use of palm oil in products found in Coles Supermarkets. We share your concern, and respect your rights as a consumer to be able to determine ethical and sustainable choices.

At present we are not in a position to confirm that the palm oil used across our entire range of products come from sustainable sources. Our product quality standards state that where palm oil is used we aim to conform to the Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil Principles & Criteria for Sustainable Palm Oil Production, which we consider to be industry best practice.

The Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil is a conglomerate of social and environmental NGO's, palm oil growers, processors & traders, consumer goods manufacturers, and retailers. Their aim is to promote the growth and use of sustainable palm oil through cooperation and open dialogue amongst industry stakeholders.

You would appreciate that Coles does not set industry guidelines nor regulate regarding palm oil production. However, we work closely with our suppliers to strive to source environmentally sustainable, and ethical ingredients.

We recognise there are a number of private label products which contain palm oil. Our intention is to indicate through more transparent labelling which products contain palm oil as an ingredient. This would be indicated in the ingredient list.

In some cases we are able to verify the country of origin of the palm oil, and we are currently in the process of implementing a database that will allow us to verify the source of ingredients in all of our 'private label'
products.

Once again, thank-you for your letter, and we are determined to make ethical and environmentally sustainable choices easier for our customers.

Yours Sincerely,
Kate Lyons
Customer Care Consultant

Trade in wildlife meat still rampant in Sarawak

Wednesday March 24, 2010 The Star, Malaysia

Trade in wildlife meat still rampant in Sarawak

KUCHING: Some rural towns in Sarawak are hotspots for the wildlife meat trade.
The Star observed that the sale of wildlife meat has been thriving in Julau in Sarikei Division, Kanowit in Sibu Division and Kapit.


Protected species under the Sarawak Wildlife Protection Ordinance 1998 such as pangolins, civets and pythons are sold openly by the roadsides, and at grocery shops and wet markets.
Some animals are brutally killed before being brought to the market.

According to a trader in Julau, his fresh wildlife meat supply came from longhouse natives.
Another trader who was selling civets said he had shot the animals himself.

While the authorities are trying their best to end the trade in wildlife meat, it is obvious that more needs to be done, particularly in educating the people.

Traffic South-East Asia’s senior programme officer Noorainie Awang Anak urged the Sarawak Forestry Corporation to hold more awareness campaigns for villagers on the law regulating wildlife trade and protection.

“Maybe the message on the ban on wildlife trade in Sarawak did not reach the village level and that is why you still have locals hunting and selling wildlife meat openly,” she said.

Noorainie also said enforcement had to be strengthened to curb the wildlife trade.
Malaysian Nature Society Kuching branch chairman Rebecca D’Cruz said as Sarawak strived to be developed, its people should stop consuming wildlife meat.

“The people should realise by now that there is no scientific proof that eating wildlife meat would enhance one’s health,” she said.

D’Cruz stressed that people should help protect and conserve the animals for posterity and the development of tourism.

D’Cruz also noted that the wildlife trade exposed humans to disease carried by animals.
Under the Wildlife Protection Ordinance, it is illegal to sell or buy any wildlife or wildlife products that had been hunted from the wild.

Those found guilty can be fined between RM10,000 and RM50,000.
State Forest Director and Wildlife Controller Datuk Len Talif Salleh, who last week said the trade in wildlife meat in Sarawak was not rampant, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

He also said the authorities realised it was still happening in some rural areas but the department was more concerned with poaching and the commercial trade of such meat.

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2010/3/24/nation/5917820&sec=nation

Leave orang utan alone

Wednesday March 24, 2010 The Star

Leave orang utan alone

MANY questions have been raised over the Government’s proposal to create an orang utan sanctuary in Kuala Lumpur.

First of all, what are the views of the experts? As we all know, orang utan are very human-like, so is it wise to move them away from their natural habitat?

I do not think that an orang utan sanctuary will create a positive impression of the Government’s commitment to eco-tourism. Instead, it will leave a lasting impression of the lack of understanding of nature conservation and the true meaning of eco-tourism.

True commitment will be reviving Taman Negara and pumping in more funds into existing wildlife centres in Sabah and Sarawak to elevate their standards to an international level.

There is nothing spectacular about seeing orang utan in a man-made sanctuary in the city of Kuala Lumpur. It makes more sense to see them roam freely in their native forests.

Besides the logging industry, the Government is under-capitalising the tourism potential of the native forests. Especially in Sarawak, where due to poor infrastructure, economically sound sustainable eco-tourism cannot be carried out in sufficient scale to bring about growth in revenue. True commitment means training human capital.

The proposed orang utan sanctuary in Kuala Lumpur seems like a fake commitment, a marketing hype just to show that something is being done but it does not address the core issue. We need a 50-year plan, not one for just five years. Eco-tourism is about sustainability, not a quick fix.

Eco-tourism, which stands for ecological tourism, is responsible travel to fragile, pristine, and usually protected areas that strive to be low impact and often small scale. It’s purpose is to educate the travellers, provide funds for conservation and directly contribute to the economic development and political empowerment of the local communities. It is also to foster respect for different cultures and for human rights.

Eco-tourism is held as important by those who want future generations to experience aspects of the environment that are relatively untouched by human intervention.

ALEX CHAI,
Kuching.

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2010/3/24/focus/5917779&sec=focus

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Rare animals are being 'eaten to extinction'

Rare animals are being 'eaten to extinction'

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/7497703/Rare-animals-are-being-eaten-to-extinction.html

Malaysian zoos and the illegal wildlife trade

What you see here, however welcome the TV coverage, is only the tip of the iceberg.


Wildlife for sale at Malaysia zoos

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia-pacific/2010/03/201032351252856571.html



and on You Tube at

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wjPkjiXPak


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Protected animals seized

2010/03/21
V. Shuman
news@nst.com.my New Straits Times, Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: The Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) rescued several protected animals and seized carcasses of wild animals in two separate operations in Johor Baru recently.

The department's law enforcement director, Saharudin Anan, said a species of the eagle and an ape -- high on the protected list -- were among the animals rescued.

The first operation was conducted at 5pm on Thursday at a wildlife trader's shop after a tip-off.

The officers detained a man in his 40s, who later led the raiding party to his house, where he also kept some of the protected animals.

"We found two monkeys -- a white-handed gibbon and a pig-tailed macaque, a rose-ringed parakeet, three hill mynas and eight parrots from three different species kept in cages.

"We also found animal parts such as a pair of horns from a serow (a type of goat), the skull of a sambar deer and the skin of a barking deer -- both of which the trader had hung on his wall as trophies," said Saharudin at the department's headquarters in Cheras here yesterday.


A pig-tailed macaque was among the protected animals seized from a wildlife trader.
The trader is being investigated for 10 offences under various sections of the Wildlife Protection Act and can be fined up to RM37,000 and jailed for up to 30 years, or both, if convicted.

Saharudin said it was the common practice among licensed hunters to display animal parts as trophies, as proof of their hunting skills.

"But the trader failed to show us any documentation of being a licensed hunter."

In the second raid at a car wash outlet on Friday, the team rescued a protected white-bellied sea eagle, which was confined to a cage.

Investigations showed the female owner of the car wash, in her 40s, had had the bird for more than a year.

She can be fined up to RM3,000 and jailed up to two years, or both, upon conviction.

http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/NST/articles/25pro-2/Article/index_html


March 20, 2010 18:07 PM

Perhilitan Seizes 15 Protected Animals

KUALA LUMPUR, March 20 (Bernama) -- The Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) seized 15 protected animals and three animal parts from two individuals in Johor Baharu this week.

The department's legal and enforcement director Saharudin Anan said enforcement officers raided a premises in Johor Baharu and the house of the premises' owner on Thursday.

They seized three gracula birds, five parrots, two blue-crowned hanging parrots, a gibbon, a Rose-ringed parakeet, a macaque and an electus parrot, he said.

"We also seized a pair of wild goat horns, a deer skull with the horns attached and a piece of preserved deer skin," he told a news conference.

In a separate raid, enforcement officers seized a white-bellied sea eagle from a woman at a car-wash premises in Johor Baharu at 3pm on Friday.

He said some of these animals were fully protected and required special permit from the department to keep them.

-- BERNAMA
We provide (subscription-based)
news coverage in our Newswire service.
Back Top

Improve conditions for orang-utan in captivity

Tuesday March 23, 2010 The Star, Malaysia

Improve conditions for orang-utan in captivity

SARAWAK and Sabah are right to say no to sending their orang-utan to a proposed new tourist facility in Kuala Lumpur, “Sabah, S’wak unwilling to send their orang utan to KL” (Sunday Star, March 21).

First and foremost, anyone who has seen the truly horrific conditions in which orang-utan are held in Malaysian zoos and safari parks will know full well the inability of the Government to set, let alone maintain, acceptable standards for animal welfare.

Perhilitan is currently investigating allegations of cruelty and breaches of the Protection of Wildlife Act 1972 Act 76 at five well known establishments which keep orang-utan.

The treatment of orang-utan (and many other species) in Malaysian zoos is nothing
less than appalling, in some cases involving torture, and it must be stopped.

With the emphasis at this proposed new attraction on tourism, not conservation or education, the Government presumably has seen how orang-utan eco-tourism attracts large numbers to Sabah and Sarawak and wants to sidetrack some of these tourists to Kuala Lumpur.

It’s all about money and it has nothing to do with caring for the needs of the orang-utan.
If the officials really care about orang-utan, let them first show this by improving conditions for orang-utan already in captivity, and where appropriate, bring the full force of the law to bear on those who flagrantly breach the Protection of Wildlife Act.

SEAN WHYTE,
Chief Executive, Nature Alert
London.
http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2010/3/23/focus/5911825&sec=focus

Probe into illegal logging over soon, says MACC

Probe into illegal logging over soon, says MACC


http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2010/3/23/nation/5911940&sec=nation

Indonesian Army Implicated in New Assassinations; Forces Receiving US Aid Ran

Indonesian Army Implicated in New Assassinations; Forces Receiving US Aid Ran

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/03/22-3

Palm oil producers beware

Tuesday March 23, 2010

Palm oil producers beware

Commodities Talk - By Hanim Adnan


LAST week, history repeated itself when multinational food conglomerate Nestle decided to cease its palm oil supply from Indonesia’s Sinar Mas Group on reports of rainforest destruction by the environment non-governmental organisation (NGO) Greenpeace.

This mirrors the first move by Unilever three months earlier to cancel its palm oil purchase from the same Indonesian company based on reports by Greenpeace.
Unilever was reported to have cancelled its US$30mil contract with Sinar Mas at end-2009 while Kraft cancelled its contract in early 2010. Sainsbury’s and Shell have also stated that they will not buy palm oil from Sinar Mas.

Greenpeace’s report “Caught red handed” last Wednesday revealed that Nestle has been using palm oil sourced from plantations grown on cleared rainforests from Indonesia in its products like Kit-Kat.

Switzerland’s Nestle in a statement said it would replace Sinar Mas with another supplier for further shipments after conducting its own investigations into the palm oil supply chain.

Interestingly, the issue also set off a public relations bomb for Nestle, which chastised users of its Facebook page after Greenpeace posted a mock-up of the company’s Kit-Kat candy bar logo on its own website and Facebook members adopted the graphic as their profile picture.

Nestle’s moderator wrote: “We welcome your comments, but please don’t post using an altered version of any of our logos as your profile pic – they will be deleted.”
On a more serious note, Greenpeace seems to be attacking only Indonesia’s oil palm producers and leaving Malaysian producers off the hook.

This, however, may not be true. Greenpeace’s counterpart, Friends of the Earth (FOE), has published a report using the same approach as Greenpeace to discredit IOI group’s RSPO sustainable palm oil and asking Unilever and Nestle to reject it.
FOE had also attacked United Plantations Bhd earlier but the swift action by United Plantations to rebut within 24 hours helped in the damage control.

FOE has also attacked on the oil palm cultivation on peat land in Sarawak. More Malaysian plantation companies will soon come under attack from the NGOs.
There are also many questions arising from the Sinar Mas incident such as:
•Is there a need to also penalise responsible palm oil producers with the RSPO certification for the wrong-doings of Sinar Mas?

•Does the RSPO see the need to blacklist Sinar Mas for its unacceptable environmental and social practices as the group is an RSPO member?
•Was Nestle’s own investigation on the palm oil supply chain of Sinar Mas sconducted with the RSPO assistance?

For Malaysian palm oil producers, one lesson learnt is that they must now cater to the increasing world demand for sustainably produced palm oil.
While producers should not entirely fear some of the unfounded claims by Western NGOs on palm oil, they must take heed of the more “revealing” facts exposed by NGOs. At stake is the future of palm oil exports especially to European Union, a major export destination.

Just imagine if other major importers of palm oil like China and India were to take similar stance on buying only sustainably produced oil palm in the near future?
• Assistant news editor Hanim Adnan who enjoys watching the “Have a Break, Have a Kit-Kat” TV advert, wonders whether the chocolate will taste the same using sustainable palm oil instead of the “non-sustainable” counterpart.

http://biz.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2010/3/23/business/5910343&sec=business

Independent wins at animal 'Oscars

Independent wins at animal 'Oscars

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/press/independent-wins-at-animal-oscars-1925408.html

Nestle fiasco continues: Indonesian oil palm planters threaten boycott too

Personal note:
You can see how easily the bad guys involved in the palm oil industry find it to keep on digging themselves into an ever-larger hole.

------------------------------

Nestle fiasco continues: Indonesian oil palm planters threaten boycott too

http://news.mongabay.com/2010/0322-hance_nestle_boycott.html

Monday, 22 March 2010

Orangutan reports

COMING SOON

Photos and reports from my recent travels to Malaysia and Indonesia.




Indonesia Walks a 'Tricky' Path Toward Growth and

Indonesia Walks a 'Tricky' Path Toward Growth and Sustainability

http://www.nytimes.com/cwire/2010/03/22/22climatewire-indonesia-walks-a-tricky-path-toward-growth-22444.html?pagewanted=1

Indonesia, Malaysia may stop palm oil exports to EU&US

Personal note: More nonsence being uttered by an increasingly desperate palm oil industry.
---------------------------


Indonesia, Malaysia may stop palm oil exports to EU&US

Monday, March 22, 2010 16:59 WIB Economic & Business

Jakarta (ANTARA News/Asia Pulse) - Indonesia and Malaysia have agreed to stop exports of crude palm oil (CPO) to Europe and the United States if negative campaigns against their commodity continue.

The European Union and the United States have accused Indonesia and Malaysia, which account for 85 per cent of the world\'s production of CPO, of destroying forests to make space for oil palm plantations.

Indonesian Agriculture Minister Suswono said a delegation will visit the European Union in May to explain the Indonesian position and counter the allegation. \"We (Indonesia and Malaysia) would see what would come afterward before deciding to stop exports,\" he said.


Source:
Business in Asia Today - March.22, 2010
published by Asia Pulse
COPYRIGHT © 2010
http://www.antara.co.id/en/news/1269251973/indonesia-malaysia-may-stop-palm-oil-exports-to-eu&us

RI’s mangrove forests shrinks to 2 million ha

RI’s mangrove forests shrinks to 2 million ha

The Jakarta Post , Jakarta Sun, 03/21/2010

Indonesia’s mangrove forest area has shrunk from 4.2 million hectares in 1982 to 2 million hectares, according to an NGO.

People’s Coalition for Justice in Fisheries (Kiara) said Sunday the expansion of brackish fishponds was the main cause of the dwindling mangroves.

Kiara’s secretary general M. Riza Damanik said the deforestation had tipped the environmental balance in coastal areas, especially the declining fish production and rapid abrasions due to high waves.

“The government sees mangrove simply as a commodity that benefits a few people. The mangrove issue has demonstrated the government’s lack of environmental concern.”

The Royal Society, a science academy in Britain, recently released a report about the rapid loss of mangroves all over the world.

In Thailand, each hectare of brackish fishpond yields only US$9,600 for the owner. But the Thai government has to shoulder $1,000 in pollution cost, $12,400 in the loss of ecological functions, $8,400 in subsidies for local community and $9,300 to restore the mangrove forest.

Kiara notes the recent aggressive expansion of oil palm plantations had also worsened the situation because in some areas, the project affects coasts. — JP

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2010/03/21/ri%E2%80%99s-mangrove-forests-shrinks-2-million-ha.html

Protected animals seized

Protected animals seized

2010/03/21
V. Shuman
news@nst.com.my New Straits Times, Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: The Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) rescued several protected animals and seized carcasses of wild animals in two separate operations in Johor Baru recently.

The department's law enforcement director, Saharudin Anan, said a species of the eagle and an ape -- high on the protected list -- were among the animals rescued.

The first operation was conducted at 5pm on Thursday at a wildlife trader's shop after a tip-off.

The officers detained a man in his 40s, who later led the raiding party to his house, where he also kept some of the protected animals.

"We found two monkeys -- a white-handed gibbon and a pig-tailed macaque, a rose-ringed parakeet, three hill mynas and eight parrots from three different species kept in cages.

"We also found animal parts such as a pair of horns from a serow (a type of goat), the skull of a sambar deer and the skin of a barking deer -- both of which the trader had hung on his wall as trophies," said Saharudin at the department's headquarters in Cheras here yesterday.


A pig-tailed macaque was among the protected animals seized from a wildlife trader.
The trader is being investigated for 10 offences under various sections of the Wildlife Protection Act and can be fined up to RM37,000 and jailed for up to 30 years, or both, if convicted.

Saharudin said it was the common practice among licensed hunters to display animal parts as trophies, as proof of their hunting skills.

"But the trader failed to show us any documentation of being a licensed hunter."

In the second raid at a car wash outlet on Friday, the team rescued a protected white-bellied sea eagle, which was confined to a cage.

Investigations showed the female owner of the car wash, in her 40s, had had the bird for more than a year.

She can be fined up to RM3,000 and jailed up to two years, or both, upon conviction.

http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/NST/articles/25pro-2/Article/index_html


------------------------------------


March 20, 2010 18:07 PM

Perhilitan Seizes 15 Protected Animals

KUALA LUMPUR, March 20 (Bernama) -- The Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) seized 15 protected animals and three animal parts from two individuals in Johor Baharu this week.

The department's legal and enforcement director Saharudin Anan said enforcement officers raided a premises in Johor Baharu and the house of the premises' owner on Thursday.

They seized three gracula birds, five parrots, two blue-crowned hanging parrots, a gibbon, a Rose-ringed parakeet, a macaque and an electus parrot, he said.

"We also seized a pair of wild goat horns, a deer skull with the horns attached and a piece of preserved deer skin," he told a news conference.

In a separate raid, enforcement officers seized a white-bellied sea eagle from a woman at a car-wash premises in Johor Baharu at 3pm on Friday.

He said some of these animals were fully protected and required special permit from the department to keep them.

-- BERNAMA

Sarawak and Sabah are not willing to relocate their orang utan to a new sanctuary for the primate in Kuala Lumpur.

Personal note: This is nothing more than a money-making plan and has zero to do with the welfare of orangutans. The treatment of orangutans in zoos and safari parks in Malaysia is nothing less than horrendous. It is all about exploiting orangutans for money. I know because I have seen it for myself.....about which more will be said on this blog at a later date.

-------------------------------------------------
Published: Sunday March 21, 2010
Sabah, S'wak unwilling to send their orang utan to KL

By RINTOS MAIL The Star, Malaysia

KUCHING: Sarawak and Sabah are not willing to relocate their orang utan to a new sanctuary for the primate in Kuala Lumpur.

Deputy Tourism Minister Datuk Dr James Dawos Mamit said both states wanted their orang utan to stay where they were and, therefore, the government now had to look for orang utans from a small island in Perak.

He said the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM) had allocated about 200 acres in Kepong to set up the new eco-tourism attraction that was similar to the Semenggoh Wildlife Centre here and the Sepilok orang utan sanctuary in Sandakan.

“We are going to transfer some of the orang utan from the island in Perak since the population has increased and exceeded the island’s caring capacity, which makes it difficult for the primates to get enough food,” he said opening SK Siburan Baru Parent-Teacher Association’s annual general meeting here Sunday.

Dawos said the species in Perak, the Borneon orang utan (Pongo pygmaeus), was similar to that in Sarawak and Sabah.

He was not certain when the project would start.
However, he said the government would not go back on its plan because an orang utan sanctuary in Kuala Lumpur would be a big success as it would leave a lasting impression on visitors in line with the government’s intention to make eco-tourism a more prominent sector.

“I cannot ascertain when we can make it a reality. But this is a directive from the Prime Minister, which is why we must do it,” he said.

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2010/3/21/nation/20100321175141&sec=nation

Hunt for 'rogue trader' over recycled carbon credits


Not the first carbon scam and it won't be the last. Carbon credit scams will soon be very common.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7069741.ece

Internet Among Biggest Threats to Endangered Species: Activists

Internet Among Biggest Threats to Endangered Species: Activists

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/home/internet-among-biggest-threats-to-endangered-species-activists/365116


and

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8579310.stm

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Orang-utans can swim - we've got pictures to prove it - New Scientist

- Orang-utans can swim - we've got pictures to prove it - Image 1 - New Scientist

http://www.newscientist.com/gallery/orang-utan-water/1

Letter: Greased palm and orangutans

Letter: Greased palm and orangutans

Sat, 03/20/2010 Readers Forum The Jakarta Post

I sat here reading more ridiculous claims made by Gapki, the Indonesian palm oil producers association.

As we have come to expect, Gapki and its counterparts in Malaysia throw out misinformation in the forlorn hope it will show the palm oil industry in better light overseas.

The reality is, every time they deny joint responsibility (their partners being their respective governments) for damaging the environment in pursuit of some fast and loose money, they simply make matters worse for themselves. The palm oil industry knows the environmental damage it is doing, and so does everyone else.

For four days I have been touring north-west Kalimantan. At no time did I see any primary rainforest. In fact, I saw very little forest at all. Not once did I see wildlife. Think about this for a moment; hardly any trees, no birds, no animals and doubtless few fish in the polluted rivers.

The only wildlife I saw was in zoos or private hands. All were held prisoner in horrific conditions and none more so than the orang-utan, the one species Indonesia is known for worldwide.

It would appear that especially inhumane and despicable treatment is reserved for this species. The only way to describe the treatment of captive orangutans is barbaric and torturous. We even found one baby orangutan held by no less than a Regent in his yard. This sad, illegally held orangutan, was kept in a filthy cage and fed on rice, while the regent lived a life of luxury next door.

The so-called Orangutan Action Plan is a failure; not that this surprises anyone accustomed to environmental promises made by the Indonesian President.

The orangutans, as the rest of the rainforest inhabitants, have been sacrificed in return for money. And as we know, this government has a soft spot and deep pockets for money.

Sean Whyte
Pontianak, West Kalimantan

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2010/03/20/letter-greased-palm-and-orangutans.html

Friday, 19 March 2010

More good work by Greenpeace

More good work by Greenpeace

http://etanaction.blogspot.com/2010/03/tough-week-for-sinar-mas.html

Australia to help improve road network in W. Kalimantan

Personal note: This is a first-class example of the stupidity of foreign governments.
Two weeks ago Hardi and I saw how this road cut through what little forest was left in the area. Human habitation was springing up all along the road.


These people are working on the road and generally poor, so they could often be seen extracting wood from the remaining bits of forest. We can be certain these same people either capture wildlife as bush-meat or to sell live into the wildlife trade. It will not be long before no trees or wildlife will be left and small towns emerge.....thanks to the Australian government.

Let us hope our Australian colleagues will shame their government for contributing to the demise of the environment in Western Kalimantan – you can be sure they are doing this for commercial reasons such as access to the extensive coal mines and other minerals in the region. Why else would the Australian government give its taxpayers money to Indonesia?

We saw mostly palm oil trucks using this road.

By the way, this same road ends close to where what little remaining forest is left. Access to this forest with orangutans etc has now been made much easier thanks to Australia.

The British government and the EU are no better.


-------------------------------------------------------------------

Australia to help improve road network in W. Kalimantan

The Jakarta Post , Jakarta Fri, 03/19/2010

Travel time will be cut and road safety improved for people using part of a major West Kalimantan highway being significantly upgraded with Australian support.

The Australian Embassy said in a statement made available to Antara state news agency on Friday that Australian Ambassador to Indonesia Bill Farmer, Indonesian Public Works Minister Djoko Kirmanto and West Kalimantan Governor Cornelis H.M. launched Thursday an improvement project on the Pontianak-Tayan road network.

The 31.5-kilometer stretch is an important link in the Trans Kalimantan Highway and Farmer said the upgrading project would significantly improve travel for motorists.

"Better roads mean better access to markets, education, hospitals and other services," Farmer said.

He further said that by reducing dust affecting local communities to making it faster and cheaper for traders to transport goods, the road improvement project would provide practical benefits for the people of West Kalimantan and their economy.

More than 500 cars, trucks and motorbikes use the highway every day and this number will increase significantly as motorists choose the upgraded roads over longer alternative routes.

Good infrastructure is vital for social and economic development and Australia is committed to supporting Indonesia's efforts to improve major roads.

This project is one of the 20 roads and bridges in nine provinces being upgraded with Australian support. These highways will demonstrate that new approaches to design, contracting and construction will extend the life of roads and deliver better value.

The road improvement projects are funded by a concessional loan of A$300 million from Australia to Indonesia and a A$30 million grant.

Over four years of construction, the overall road program is expected to generate more than 5,000 construction jobs. Australia's support is part of the five-year A$2.5 billion dollar Australia-Indonesia Partnership.

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2010/03/19/australia-help-improve-road-network-w-kalimantan.html





kitkat

kitkat


http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/Green/2897073/KitKat-chocolate-contains-oil-linked-to-wiping-out-orangutans.html

IOI denies not going green in Indonesia

IOI denies not going green in Indonesia _ malaysiakini.com

Christine Chan
Mar 18, 10
6

The IOI Corporation has denied allegations in by a European NGO that it is not following sustainable palm practices in its plantations in Indonesia.

The report, commissioned by the Friends of Europe Netherlands (Milieudefensie), was released earlier this month.

It questions IOI's prominence in the area of sustainable palm plantations - the company is a founding member of the Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and several of its estates are certified.

However, a check with RSPO revealed that their plantations in Indonesia are not certified and therefore do not carry the sustainability tag.

When contacted, the IOI, one of Malaysia's biggest conglomerates, responded that many of statements made by Milieudefensie are untrue and the conclusions misleading.

Unilateral investigation Corporate communication manager Karen Liew said that the report took the form of a unilateral investigation in which IOI was not given the opportunity to rebut its findings.

"The excuse given, that there being a 'deadline' for publication of the report which contains such serious allegations against us, is totally unacceptable and contradicts the principles of transparency and fairness which they claim to uphold," she added.

IOI will be contacting Milieudefensie to correct the errors in the report.

Karen also reiterated IOI's public commitment to obtain RSPO certification for all its Malaysian oil palm plantations by mid-2012, and will seek certification of its Indonesian plantations after they have been fully planted in about four years.

The companies involved are PT Ketapang Sawit Lestari, PT Sukses Karya Sawit (SKS), PT Berkat Nabati Sejahtera (BNS), PT Bumi Sawit Sejahtera and PT Kalimantan Prima Agro Mandiri in the Ketapang district, West Kalimantan.

It was reported that the infringements are:

• Plantation development without Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) - The report claimed that up to 2010, the Indonesian companies have yet to receive any EIA from the local authority but their research and satellite images showed that IOI have already started land clearing and planting of oil palms. Villagers interviewed claimed that land clearing started in 2008.

• Unauthorised plantation development in permanent forest - It was discovered that clearing activities were found in forestland although none of the IOI subsidiaries had obtained the approval of the Forestry Ministry.

• Encroachment on peat land - A soil map for Kalimantan produced under the Regional Physical Planning Project for Transmigration shows that there are peat lands in all of IOI concessions in Ketapang. Therefore, IOI is said to have breached their corporate social responsibility commitment not to encroach on peat land.

• Fires on IOI concessions - Fire hotspots data for 2007, 2008 and 2009 shows that prior to the land clearing activities of PT SKS and PT BNS, there were no hotspots in the concessions areas. But in 2009, several concentrations of fire hotspots occurred in the newly cleared areas.
• Land Conflicts in the making - The report claimed that villagers in the PT SKS and PT BNS areas have only been informed twice of IOI oil palm development in their area. It also states that there were signboards by which the villagers stake their claim on the land. This does not comply with the RSPO concept of free, prior and informed consent where land acquisition has to be transparent.

Meanwhile, RSPO Communications officer Sarala Aikanathan said that they are aware of the report.

"All allegations made have been presented to the RSPO executive board. The board has grievance process set up to pave the way for an investigation," she said while declining to elaborate further.

Is oil palm plantation forest?

Is oil palm plantation forest?

Yansen , Queensland Fri, 03/19/2010 Opinion

The Jakarta Post (Feb. 16) reported that the Forestry Ministry is planning to include oil palm estates to the forestry sector. Even though Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan denied the plan, an internal source at the ministry said that the decree is in progress (the Post, Feb. 23).

This proposal automatically sparks controversy. Responses from the Post readers, for example, show that majority opposed the plan. Several regional governments, such as the North Sumatra Forestry Bureau, also rejected the plan.

The opposition to the plan is understandable. The anxiety that this will lead to more massive conversion of forest into oil palm plantations is the main reason, although the Forestry Ministry believes that this will not be the case.

It is also suspected that the decree could become legalization for ongoing forest occupation by plantation companies.

This suspicion is not too exaggerated. The forestry minister once complained about the National Summit forum last year that the forestry sector was viewed as a development obstacle.

One of the summit recommendations then was “a review on regulations regarding regional land use and land availability, including forest areas.”

No wonder if tackling land use overlapping has become one of the main focuses of Zulkifli Hasan administration.

There are common cases of disputes between forestry and agriculture sectors, especially plantations. Conflicts between these two sectors might be the reason why former president Abdurrahman Wahid merged forestry and agricultural plantations into one ministry. Even though the plantation sector was then taken back under Agriculture Ministry in the next presidential administrations; however, the disputes have been widely acknowledged.
The source of the clash between the two sectors is mainly because the forestry sector was based on area. This does not only mean a legal area, but far more than that an area which is viewed as an integrated biological ecosystem comprising a variety of biodiversity and ecologically important.

Therefore, it is not correct to perceive forests as an economical resource only. Forest management must be based on ecological knowledge and it must consider aspects of biodiversity conservation.

This is the foundation of silviculture and forest management methods. On the other hand, the agriculture sector is based on agricultural commodities.

The value of the agricultural sector increases with the increase of commodity quantity as well as the quality. The balance of the ecosystem is not the main focus.

Defining palm plantation as forest may have some foundation. However, this denies the basic principles of forest management that views forests as integrated ecosystems with ecological perspectives. Oil palm plantation is valued solely based on the product without emphasis on ecological harmony.

Therefore, the inclusion of this plantation in the forestry sector is just like cleaning the dust by hiding it under the carpet. The main problem of deforestation and the conflict between the two sectors will remain.

The head of research and development at the Forestry Ministry, Tachrir Fathoni, also argued that the plan to include oil palm plantations into forestry sector is “to anticipate the implementation of the REDD scheme” (the Post, Feb. 16).

The United Nations guideline only defines trees (as carbon absorbers) based on high, without any detail of the species. Therefore, he argued that the proposal will allow Indonesia to receive more benefits from REDD based on the expansion of green areas.

However, this reason in fact sounds funny. The basic paradigm of REDD is avoiding deforestation. The incentives of this scheme are based on the ability of a country to avoid deforestation from its natural forest. Donors are not stupid and do not facilitate funding for areas that are not naturally forested. It seems to be that the Indonesian government would like to receive double benefits from oil palm: the investment on plantation development as well as REDD compensation from its status as trees. Are they joking?

This is actually the reason why we should not think REDD is identical to carbon trading. If REDD is identical to carbon trade, and forests are only perceived as carbon capturers, this mechanism is dangerous. Forest rehabilitation will not consider forest as integrated ecosystems and the importance of biodiversity will be neglected.

The plan to define oil palm plantations as forests is the real example of a narrow mind about REDD. REDD is the middle option between saving tropical rainforests and emission reduction from carbon trade. Therefore, Larry Grainger et al. (2009), in their essay on Current Biology Volume 19, recommended that the national implementation standard of REDD must include biodiversity-inclusive environmentalal impact assessments.

However, it cannot be refused that the need for land for agricultural estates and the people will
increase. Hence, the conversion of forests for other purposes is inevitable.
But, this cannot be done by fooling ourselves by defining oil palm plantations as forest. Without proper consideration, plans such as this will only legalize the continuous acts of destroying Indonesian forest. With accurate and comprehensive ecological considerations, forest conversions are not always negative.

Of course, the main purpose is to supply land for people who need it as well as for companies.
However, ecologically important areas must maintain their legal status as preserved forest. These preserved forests must also be protected from the change on its biodiversity composition because of illegal occupation.

The writer is an ecologist at University of Bengkulu and is an Australian Leadership Awards fellow.
http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2010/03/19/is-oil-palm-plantation-forest.html

Monkey business



Monkey business


http://china.globaltimes.cn/day-photo/2010-03/514265.html

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Greenpeace Home Page for more news

Greenpeace Home Page for more news


http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/autofrontpage


Greepeace activists dressed as orangutans stage a protest at the entrance of the Nestle offices in Croydon, London, to denounce Nestle over the use of palm oil in their products, which comes from Indonesia's biggest producer Sinar Mas. Sinar Mas rejected claims of environmental vandalism on Thursday, after Nestle, the world's biggest food company, dropped it as a supplier, linking the company's signature Kit Kat confectionary to the destruction of orangutan habitats through deforestation casused by Indonesia's palm oil production. -- PHOTO: AFP

DYING FOR A BISCUIT

DYING FOR A BISCUIT - THE RECENT BBC PANORAMA PALM OIL FILM.


I'M TOLD THE PROGRAMME WILL BE GOING GLOBAL ON BBC WORLD ON 2nd APRIL, I WILL POST A LINK AS SOON AS I HAVE IT.

Talk to Nestle! Warning: your Kit Kat may contain traces of forest destruction

Talk to Nestle! Warning: your Kit Kat may contain traces of forest destruction

WELL DONE GREENPEACE

Please view this hard hitting video from Greenpeace which really highlights Nestle’s (and others) destructive practices.

http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/
To start the film click on the image and wait maybe five seconds for the film to begin. It is only about one minute long.

We can only hope Greenpeace will do something similar with AP&P and its complicit and destructive customers.

Many thanks.

www.naturealert.org

blog: http://naturealert.blogspot.com/



March 18, 2010

Jeroen Molenaar The Jakarta Globe

Nestle Joins Unilever in Turning Away From Sinar Mas Palm Oil

New York. Nestle, the world’s largest food maker, says it has dropped Sinar Mas Group as a supplier of palm oil, after Greenpeace called on it to cut ties with the Indonesian company.

Nestle replaced Sinar Mas with an unidentified supplier, the Switzerland-based company said. Greenpeace on Wednesday published a report accusing Sinar Mas of destroying rain forests to set up palm oil plantations.

The environmentalist group says it wrote to Nestle saying it has “evidence that Sinar Mas is breaking Indonesian law” and ignoring international environmental commitments.

Food giant Unilever suspended deliveries from the Jakarta-based plantation owner and oil producer three months ago.

PT Sinar Mas Agro Resources and Technology, Sinar Mas’s palm oil unit, is “committed in applying responsible land clearing and the best practice of farming management in all of our plantations,” president director Jo Daud Dharsono said late on Wednesday.

“We always maintain communication with Greenpeace and we will soon arrange a meeting and have a dialogue with them.”

Indonesian deforestation is pushing orangutans toward extinction and accelerating climate change, Greenpeace said on its Web site. Sinar Mas has continued expansion into rain forests and “critical orangutan habitat,” it said.

Nestle repeated its commitment to using only “certified sustainable palm oil” by 2015. Unilever plans to double the amount of palm oil it uses from sustainable sources this year.

Bloomberg
News Alert -- correct URL

EoF photos - APP continues large scale clearance of forest Thursday, 10 March 2010

PEKANBARU (EoF News)—Eyes on the Forest published recent pictures of large amount of natural forest wood waiting to be unloaded at harbor of the APPs pulp mill in Riau and also pictures showing large area of good natural forest in Bukit Tigapuluh landscape being cleared in a concession of PT. Artelindo Wiratama, an APP associated company. EoF also shows natural forest clearance by APP/SMG in deep peat Kerumutan and Giam Siak Kecil.

Read more at:
http://eyesontheforest.or.id/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=285&Itemid=1


More news on Eyes on the Forest, go to: http://www.eyesontheforest.or.id


Eyes on the Forest is a coalition of environmental NGOs in Riau,
Sumatra: Friends of the Earth Riau Office, Jikalahari "Riau Forest Rescue Network" and WWF-Indonesia. Eyes on the Forest monitors the status of the remaining natural forests in Sumatra's Province of Riau and disseminates the information worldwide.
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