Australian Senate - take action against palm oil deforestation in Indonesia & Malaysia

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To the Australian Senate:

Deforestation of old growth forests to make way for palm oil plantations is a huge issue, destroying fragile ecosystems and causing Orangutans to now be on the brink of extinction.

Indonesia is the world's largest producer of palm oil and illegal forest clearing is often standard practice to clear way for palm oil plantations. With Australia providing Indonesia with hundreds of millions of dollars in foreign aid each year - to improve their economy - the Australian government needs to set clauses around this aid to ensure old growth forests are protected and sanctuaries for endangered Orangutans are established. We would like you to raise this issue with the Indonesian government on our behalf and negotiate improvement.

Malaysia is the second largest producer of palm oil worldwide and a country close to Australia with strategic partnerships and trade agreements prominent. A recent Joint Declaration of Strategic Partnership was founded on the basis of shared values. While in many ways, we do share values with Malaysia, the Australian public does NOT share the value that palm oil production is ethical. Malaysia's palm oil production is contributing to the rapid endangerment of the world's Orangutans and new measures need to be introduced to protect these forests and creatures. We would like to you raise this issue with the Malaysian government on our behalf and negotiate improvement.

Furthermore, we would like legislated mandatory labelling of products containing Palm Oil within Australia so we can make an informed decision on our consumption.

As members of the Australian Public, we ask you, our government, to take action on this issue.