Sunday, 8 July 2007

Saving Planet Earth

Its been one of those weeks this week and I just don't know where the time has gone. I am working an extra day a week at the moment and that together with all that needs doing in the garden and going away last weekend means that I seem to have been trying to catch up all week.

Friday was a big rush after school/work as we had tickets to the BBC Saving Planet Earth event at Kew Gardens. No photos though because in all the hurry I forgot the camera. My eldest son did get about a three second appearance on television when he managed to stand near Graham Norton as he did a piece to camera. We had set the video so we have a record of this and nobody will be allowed to record over it!

I see from the Saving Planet Earth website that the event raised over £1,000,000 to help endangered species. I do wonder though if when people make a donation to a fund such as this, they then feel that they have done their bit to help and carry on as usual.

The wildlife film they showed on Friday evening was about the disappearance of Orang-utans in Borneo due to the destruction of their habitat.
Huge areas of rainforest are being cleared to plant plantations of the palm which provides palm oil. Palm oil is used in many commercially produced bakery products. The pictures of the cleared areas were so sad, the area is just massive. Each Orang-utan needs an area of rainforest equivalent to ten football pitches to survive and every minute the equivalent of three football pitches is being destroyed. I find it so difficult to get my head around these facts, when we know how biodiverse the rainforest is, such a high rate of destruction is unbelievable.

Some of the money raised will provide a sanctuary for displaced orang-utans and fund the purchase of food for them. This is obviously very badly needed in order to keep these animals alive but I wonder if this is just helping to cure the symptoms (hungry orang-utans) of the destruction we have caused and maybe taking the attention away from the root cause.

The best way we could save the orang-utans would be to leave the rainforest intact. To do this we would have to stop planting palm oil plantations and to do that we would have to stop using palm oil. I rarely buy bakery products and don't think I am buying anything containing palm oil but I will check ingredients carefully if I do buy baked goods.

I just hope that as well as giving money to save endangered species we are also prepared to make other changes in our lives which will minimise the destruction of the environment.

1 comment:

the flour loft said...

Hi Willow,
It is so shocking that this destruction is allowed to continue. I think the least we can all do is to make changes in the way we live and to try and always see the bigger picture and the consequences of our choices.
ginny x