First disastrous “green energy”:
Malaysia sacrifices its elephants for palm oil
Above picture: two victims of our “green energy”.
Palm oil is used in food and other industries, but also as biodiesel for our cars. The EU’s subsidies for this “renewable” energy, which is NOT carbon neutral as politicians pretend it to be*, are causing the accelerated devastation of Borneo, Sumatra and Malaysia’s tropical forests, among others in the world.
* See this edifying video from the famous German/French TV channel ARTE: http://www.epaw.org/multimedia.php?article=se
In Borneo, plantations are expanding rapidly at the expense of the forest, leaving orang-utans, pygmy elephants and Java rhinos without habitat. Western-born, half-baked “green” energy policies (biodiesel etc.) are backfiring, but arrogant politicians and bureaucrats won’t admit they were wrong.
Rainforest Rescue’s appeal:
It was a shocking sight for the rangers of the Gunung Rara Forest Reserve: a baby elephant trying in vain to wake its mother with its trunk. She had been poisoned, along with 13 other animals. Their carcasses were found over the past four weeks on land controlled by Yayasan Sabah, the state wood and palm oil group. The elephants all belonged to the same herd, which had been staying at the edge of the rainforest reserve – in close proximity to a logging camp and oil palm plantations.
“The elephants ate rat poison. That’s how the plantation workers prevent the animals from eating the fruit of the oil palm”, suspects Laurentius Ambu, director of the local conservation authority. The Borneo pygmy elephant is a rare forest elephant subspecies, of which no more than 1,500 animals remain – almost all in Sabah.
Malaysia continues to rely on exporting tropical timber and palm oil. Policymakers are in the process of clearing the last remaining rainforest areas in the states of Sabah and Sarawak for plantations. And with those forests, Borneo is losing an incredible wealth of animal and plant species, including endangered rhinos, orangutans and proboscis monkeys.
Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman is driving the deforestation by personally granting permits to clear the rainforest and establish palm oil plantations. He is also Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the state-owned Yayasan Sabah Group. In late 2012, the company started to cut down another 70,000 hectares of rainforest for plantations, leaving no room for the forest elephants.
Call on Aman and the Malaysian government to put an immediate end to this crime against nature and to work toward protecting the rainforests and their residents.
Author: Rainforest Rescue