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“There are only approximately 60,000 Orangutans left in the wild.” Orangutans’ habitats are mainly located in Indonesia and Malaysia. Their population continues to decrease due to the increase in palm oil plantations. Palm oil is one of the world’s most salient agricultural commodities, and is used in food ingredients and cooking oil. In Sumatra and Borneo there are currently over 7 million acres of land available, and yet corporations continue to destroy healthy rainforests. Palm oil production should be modified to reduce harmful effects on Orangutans living environments.
Human activity directly corresponds to this dramatic reduction of the orangutan population. The manufacturing of palm oil involves cutting down trees to plant seeds, which develop into fruits. Palm oil plantations not only affect the living structure of orangutans, but there are also issues concerning the soil degradation, local people, and their rights. In the past twenty years According to the United Nations Environmental Program, “the charismatic red-haired apes will be virtually eliminated in the wild within two decades if current deforestation trends continue.” This shows that in order to save these species from extinction, this production process needs to be changed. This change can consist of buying products made from sustainable palm oil. Sustainable products are commodities that are maintained properly and avoid depletion of natural resources. Not only are Orangutans being affected, but also the environment. Palm oil plantations are known to be the leading cause of rainforest deforestation. Hundreds of species live in the rainforest, meaning this crisis is also having a large impact on them as well. It is like a cycle of destruction, which needs to come to a halt with the help of people.
In Indonesia, an area of forest, the size of six football fields, is cut down every minute. This is a disgrace because there is plenty of empty space available for this source of demand. There is no purpose in destroying healthy area, when there is a large amount of free accessible space. The companies need to start realizing that what they are doing is affecting an innocent creature for no reason. By utilizing space already provided would help increase the life span of orangutans as well as people purchasing items made by sustainable palm oil. The public needs to start being aware of this situation and support organization fighting for orangutans. This will help increase the knowledge of many individuals as well as potentially influence the companies to do something positive.
There are many other effective ways to rectify the palm oil crisis. These actions include: writing a petition to existing companies that do not utilize sustainable palm oil, shop responsibly by reading labels, and finally writing thank you letters to those companies who choose to use sustainable palm oil. These methods not only help save these species but also influence people to make wiser decisions. It is good to provide those companies of the RSPO with positive reinforcement because then it is as if their decisions matter and are important. It is important to read labels when shopping because there are a large amount of names for palm oil. For example, some products use the term “Sodium Laureth Sulphate” when referring to palm oil. Companies are disguising the labeling to make it more difficult for shoppers, and try to make sure that people do not realize that this manufacturing industry is having an affect on Orangutans.
The manufacturing company of palm oil needs to modify its structure so it’s less harmful on Orangutan’s living environment. In 1900, there were approximately 315,000 Orangutans in the wild, and today there are only about 60,000. This is a huge difference in a matter of only one hundred years. The main cause of this horrific reduction is from palm oil. This is a significant decrease and making a change needs to happen before it’s too late. With the help of people around the world anything can be possible to save these species, and if not there expectancy of survival is only 10 more years.