The government of the United Kingdom already has a policy on its use of palm oil and states :
"Palm oil production is often linked to deforestation and peatland drainage,mainly in Indonesia and Malaysia. This has major impacts on biodiversity, climate change and also land rights for local people."
Global warming is leading to extreme weather conditions and the droughts that Kansas is suffering from is projected to get worse unless we all do something today!
Please sign this petition and ask all friends from Kansas to add their voices to this protest against senseless carbon emissions. Cheryl Tarpy-Apel from Kansas will make sure your letters are hand delivered!
As an American citizen from Kansas, I am concerned that we are directly contributing to global warming and wildlife extinction when we buy products containing unsustainable palm oil.
The droughts that Kansas suffered through in 2012 still carries effects today with long term projections of more hardships especially for our farmers who are the heart and soul of Kansas.
For many years, tropical forests have been under siege by multiple industries, but never more than it is today by the palm oil industry. Right now, palm oil is found in over 50% of all packaged products in American supermarkets and consumers of these products are unknowingly driving the forests and its inhabitants to extinction.
It is well known that the rainforests of the world serve as the lungs of our planet. With heavy deforestation, massive amounts of carbon are released into the environment further warming the climate and propelling extreme weather conditions. Deforestation accounts for more greenhouse gas emissions than that produced by transport and industry globally.
Palm oil in itself is not necessarily bad. However, there are serious concerns when the production of palm oil is not sustainable. Land is cleared by “slash and burn” agriculture, a method in which fires are deliberately set to clear land making way for new planting. When the forest is cleared in this manner and replaced with oil palm monoculture, between 80 and 100% of all mammals, reptiles and bird species perish.
The illegal forest fires that take place every year in Indonesia are not started accidentally, but are intentionally set making deforestation by “slash and burn” a leading contributor of greenhouse gases. Peat-lands in Indonesia and Malaysia sequester massive amounts of carbon which are released into the atmosphere when they are planted over with palm oil.
Human rights abuse and child labor are rampant in the palm oil industry. We’re starting to see more and more accusations of land grabs by industrial palm companies working in Malaysia, Indonesia and increasingly Africa, where millions of hectares have been slated for conversion to oil palm.
We can influence what is happening in palm oil-producing countries by adopting a governmental policy similar to the one that the United Kingdom has on palm oil. Key details from the UK statement on palm oil:
• There is growing awareness that the greater production of palm oil can increase the risk of destruction to tropical rainforest and drainage of peat land areas causing major impacts on biodiversity, climate change and the land rights of local peoples.
• In recent years a number of organizations have taken steps to try to produce and source their palm oil more sustainably. By taking steps to source their palm oil more sustainably, UK companies at all stages of the supply chain can help to reduce the negative impacts associated with palm oil production.
• The UK is one of the most influential players in that EU market. Through co-ordinated action, the UK supply chain can influence other consumers and producers and support the global drive to make palm oil production and consumption more sustainable. By implementing a policy where only sustainably produced palm oil will be purchased and used in all government institutions, it has created a sudden interest from palm oil producers and their customers to produce a better palm oil.
Senator Roberts and Governor Brownback, the consumption of products containing unsustainable palm oil will contribute to the devastation caused to tropical ecosystems and biodiversity and accelerate climate change. I urge all levels of governments in the USA to make strong commitments to source only Certified Sustainable Palm Oil and to encourage the private sector to match these commitments.
The US government must not allow its citizens to be made unwitting partners in deforestation, climate change, extinction, and biodiversity loss as well as denying the rights of local and indigenous peoples through consumption and use of unsustainable palm oil.
We must stand up in the fight against climate change and insist our products are produced sustainably. The USA should be adopting similar palm oil initiatives and commitments that are already in place in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, UK, and Germany.
I hope I can count on you to help ensure that the USA adopts a strong policy on the use of certified sustainable palm oil. Let the Climate Change studies in Kansas show that we recognize that man has contributed greatly to global warming and that Kansas stood up to protect its citizens against the wanton emissions caused by reckless members of the global agri-industry.