Uploaded by ParadigmShiftProject on Aug 27, 2010
Indonesia is a country of incredible beauty. As one of the more biodiverse regions on our planets, its role in the environmental future of our globe is paramount.
With the increasing demand for cheap biofuels to lessen the global north’s dependency on foreign petroleum, palm oil plantations have taken precedence over much of Indonesia’s last remaining rainforests- the only refuge for critically endangered species, such as the orangutan, who shares 96.4% of our genes.
This project concerns the social, environmental, and economic impacts of palm oil production in Indonesia, including the loss of over 2.8 million hectares of primary rainforest each year. A common ingredient in thousands of products, from anti-freeze to shampoo to potato chips, palm oil comprises an integral part of Indonesia’s economy. However, its resulting impacts on local communities, including conflicts over human rights, land rights, and environmental protection, are little known.
Informed by the work of local non-profit organizations like Sawit Watch, Yayasan Ekosistem Lestari, WALHI- Friends of the Earth Indonesia, Pan Eco, Leuser International Foundation, Fauna and Flora International, the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme, and the Sumatran Orangutan Society, this project is building tools to educate global consumers, enabling them to realize the effects of palm oil consumption, and also how they can be part of a more sustainable solution.
A documentary film is currently in its final stages of editing, to be completed in the fall of 2009, and an accompanying curricula guide will be written upon completion of the film. Indonesian non-profit organizations working on palm oil issues (listed above) will be provided with a copy of the film upon completion, and also offered training on how it can be used as an educational tool to support and further their work.