Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Orang-utan campaign heads to Westminster

Tuesday, 02 May 2006 08:35 Copyright InTheNew.co.uk

Orang-utan campaign heads to Westminster

Leading members of Britain's campaign to save endangered orang-utans are to lobby MPs at a Westminster reception this evening.

Hosted by Lib Dem MP Norman Baker and organised by Friends of the Earth, the event will be attended by prominent orang-utan campaigners including celebrity actress Joanna Lumley.

They will attempt to highlight the plight of the orang-utans, whose rainforests are being steadily destroyed by Britain's demand for palm oil, in an attempt to gain changes to the company law reform bill currently passing through parliament.

"Demand for palm oil is threatening the survival of these fantastic creatures and it is shocking that our demand for cheap food and other products is behind this," Mr Baker, the party's environmental affairs spokesperson, said.

"I believe we must take this opportunity to use the company law reform bill to ensure that UK companies take more responsibility for the impacts they have on the environment."

At present British supermarkets including Tesco, Somerfield and Morrisons are refusing to subscribe to an agreement on the "sustainable use" of palm oil, showing a disinterest the bill could forcibly change.

"The growth in demand for palm oil is putting pressure on precious areas of rainforest in Borneo and Sumatra, threatening the survival of the orang-utan," Friends of the Earth oil campaigner Ed Matthew said.

"MPs have the power to do something about this and we urge them to take this chance."

Palm oil, harvested from the rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra, can be found in one in ten products sold in Britain's supermarkets.track
The Orangutan Film Protection Project Team from Cockroach Productions will be attending this event and showing a video report from Indonesia, highlighting the plight of orangutans and local people in the face of the growing palm oil industry. Our hope is to rally British Government support for the sustainable sector of the industry, being led by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil.

Find out more at www.cockroach.org.uk