Sunday, December 6, 2009

An Orangutan's Best Friend

Suryia and Roscoe live at the T.I.G.E.R.S sanctuary in Myrtle Beach , South Carolina.

The orangutan was in the rescue center and was not doing well. This old hound wandered in truly emaciated and the orangutan took to him the moment the dog arrived.

He stayed with the hound night and day until he was well and during the process found a reason to live.

They are now inseparable.

[Images forwarded by Hari Ho]

Oil palm cultivation has brought in a vast amount of revenue to Malaysia - but most of it ends up in the hands of a privileged few. The rapid proliferation of oil palm plantations in the last 30 years has resulted in disastrous deforestation.

As a monoculture, oil palm cannot be considered an eco-friendly cash crop. Artificial fertilizers, weedkillers and insecticides used in oil palm estates have poisoned the land and made it infertile. Many indigenous cultures have been displaced and endangered because of oil palm greed. In Kalimantan and various other parts of Indonesia, Malaysian oil palm interests have caused huge tracts of rainforest to be cleared for oil palm cultivation.

Open burning to clear the felled forests has caused atmospheric pollution throughout the region - and there is no political will to stop the problem because many top government officials in both Indonesia and Malaysia have vested interests in the palm oil industry. In Sarawak, logging companies work in cahoots with oil palm cultivators to rape not only the precious rainforest, but also gentle indigenous tribes like the Penan.

Palm oil products may actually be quite good in terms of nutrition - but oil palm cultivation on such a colossal scale is definitely deleterious to our long-term environmental well-being and must be stopped.

Oil palm-based biofuel more harmful than fossil fuels: Researcher
Tue, December 8, 2009

PALEMBANG: The programme to develop palm oil as a non-polluting biofuel is a “myth” to justify expansion of oil palm plantations in Indonesia, a researcher from Sriwijaya University Julian Junaidi said.

“The burning of palm oil-based biofuel might not generate enviromment-damaging gas, and the process of turning palm oil into biofuel was much more harmful than the use of fossil fuels,” Indonesia’s Antara news agency reported, citing Julian as saying.

Speaking at a dissussion on biofuel organized by the Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) here Monday, he said the burning of one tonne of premium gasoline would cause 3.1 tonnes of carbon dioxide (C02) to escape into the atmosphere. However, the process of turning one tonne of palm oil into biofuel would produce 33 tonnes of CO2.

These facts showed that the use of palm-oil-based biofuel would contribute enormously to global warming, he said.

“Tragically, most of the activity to turn palm oil into biofuel is taking place in developing countries, where the oil palm plantations are located,” Julian said.

Apart from damaging the environment, he said, the programme to develop biofuel from palm oil was also causing land disputes in the community.

“The drive to expand oil palm plantations has already led to hundreds of land disputes because the expansion was done not on no- man’s land but on people’s farm land,” he said.

“Oil palm is not a renewable energy source. The price people have to pay for palm oil-based biofuel is too high. Millions of hectares of forests are being cut down for a crop that eventually only contributes to ecological disasters,” he said.

Meanwhile, Anwar Sadat, director of Walhi’s South Sumatra chapter, said the programme to develop biofuel from palm oil had induced the large-scale expansion of oil palm plantations.

The oil palm growing frenzy to produce palm oil not only for households but also as biofuel for industry and transportation had led to degradation of people’s forests and protected forests in South Sumatra’s low lands.

“The oil palm planting drive has also increased the frequency of social conflicts in the province.

According to Sawit Watch (an NGO), in 2003, oil palm plantation-related land disputes happened 140 times but the number rose almost four-fold to 513 in 2007,” he said. — BERNAMA


Unknown said...

Awwwwwwwwwwww what a beautiful and touching story, Antares. The photos speak a thousand words about the special bond of deep friendship and love that Suryia and Roscoe share.

The video is so so so so moving!!!

I wish that such ties that bind can be seen in our society...

Still, I am glad I have a friend in you, dearest Antares. Thanks for this beautiful post.

hugs and much love

Guidance and advice for Body Mind and Soul said...

Amazing post antares - hope to read and be enlightened by more of them
-Dr Amit K Saiya

semuanya OK kot said...

Globally, "land use change" is a major source of human CO2 (18%). In this case, the sources are
- exposed soil.
- rotting felled/cleared vegetation
- methane (much worse than CO2) from rotting vegetation in water, drained wetlands and peat lands.
- deliberate burning to clear forest and old plantations
- production of fertilizer.
- mechanization using petroleum.

This excludes other losses and ways in which we are killing ourselves in agriculture.

Starmandala said...

MWS - Thanks again, my dear, for being the first to leave a friendly pawmark here. Much appreciated! :-)

Dr Amit - I bet you're a friend of Mangala. Glad to "meet" youand thanks!

SemuanyaOK - Glad you focused on the more serious message embedded within this appeal to the unutterable cuteness of seeing Suriya and Roscoe romp like soulmates. I am strongly opposed to "cash crops" and industrial scale agriculture, especially on the hideous and inhuman scale promoted by evil giants like Monsanto. These highly toxic and environmentally destructive methods of planting will ultimately create a monopoly in food production controlled by plutocrats - not real people!

Fit Human said...

This is a great Guide to Fitness and nutrition