80% of rainforests in Malaysian Borneo logged

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“80 percent of the rainforests in Malaysian Borneo have been heavily impacted by logging, finds a comprehensive study that offers the first assessment of the spread of industrial logging and logging roads across areas that were considered some of Earth’s wildest lands less than 30 years ago.”

Click here to read this stunning report on Mongabay’s website.

“Biofuel”: EU destroys 700,000 hectares of rainforest

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The plantations needed to produce the palm oil cover an area of 700,000 hectares – land that until recently was still rainforest and the habitat of endangered orangutans. Despite the clear-cutting of the rainforests, the EU has classified palm oil as sustainably produced.”

https://www.rainforest-rescue.org/mailalert/908/biofuel-eu-destroys-700-000-hectares-of-rainforest

We have a request from Rainforest Rescue to help get signatures for this important petition above to urge the EU to ditch biofuel. Please sign and share.

Next, please write to these 16 EU members important for biofuel lobbying. Simply copy and paste and use these emails:

corinne.lepage@europarl.europa.eu,alejo.vidal-quadras@europarl.europa.eu,
christa.klass@europarl.europa.eu, kriton.arsenis@europarl.europa.eu,
sabine.wils@europarl.europa.eu,julie.girling@europarl.europa.eu,
bas.eickhout@europarl.europa.eu,tadeusz.cymanski@europarl.europa.eu,
britta.thomsen@europarl.europa.eu,jens.rohde@europarl.europa.eu,
giles.chichester@europarl.europa.eu,marisa.matias@europarl.europa.eu,
bela.glattfelder@europarl.europa.eu,riikka.manner@europarl.europa.eu,
filip.kaczmarek@europarl.europa.eu,claude.turmes@europarl.europa.eu

Again, simply copy and paste this below in your email body (its from the petition above), and send. That’s all! (better still, write in your own thoughts!).

—-

Ladies and Gentlemen,

To my great consternation, I have learnt that the European Commission plans to uphold its policy of promoting “biofuels” – despite the fact that they not only lead to more hunger in the world, but also have catastrophic consequences for the environment and the climate. Worldwide, industrial monocultures are spreading at the expense of natural ecosystems and destroying biodiversity.
Environmentalists, human-rights activists, scientists, development experts and even international organizations such as the United Nations and the OECD have demanded for years that the EU put an end to its harmful biofuel policy.

Even the findings of scientific studies undertaken on behalf the European Commission show that biodiesel from palm, soybean and rapeseed oil causes more greenhouse gas emissions than fossil diesel fuel.

Moreover, biofuel production also consumes huge quantities of water, as well as fertilizers and pesticides that pollute the environment and adversely impact human health. Even here in Europe, farmland birds are disappearing because their habitat is being lost to rapeseed monocultures.
None of these serious problems can be solved by setting a limit of five percent for agrofuels derived from foodstuffs and counting the volumes from agrofuels from waste and cellulose in quadruple, as the Commission is proposing now.

Please abolish the mandatory blending of agrofuels and eliminate all related tax benefits, subsidies and imports immediately.

The human right to food, the preservation of biodiversity and the protection of the environment must take priority over the one-sided business interests of the agrofuels industry.

Yours sincerely,

Thank you for caring, friend of the orangutans!

Jackie the orangutan

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Jackie is a 22-year old female orangutan who according to the Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD), “spent most of the last two decades “spoilt” with junk food in Ranau”. In March this year Jackie was transferred to the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park zoo in Kota Kinabalu (KK), Sabah. According to the SWD “She came into Sabah Park’s care since she was two years old after she was found and handed over  by a villager residing adjacent to Kinabalu Park some 20 years ago“. We have not been told why she was not sent to the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre instead.

Jackie was exploited in the popular Poring Hot Springs area in Ranau (which is under the jurisdiction of Sabah Parks), approximately 2.5 hours from KK, as a tourist attraction, and her body weight ballooned to an amazing 100kgs.

The staff of the SWD have successfully managed to reduce Jackie’s weight to 85kgs and she has not so far shown any sign of diseases despite years of human contact and a terrible diet. A government paper, ‘The Star’ implies Jackie will be released back into the wild, however it cannot be determined as yet if she can go back to live where an orangutan should.

Updates to come. Below are links we found on the Internet regarding Jackie, with pictures in them. At the bottom is a video of Jackie with tourists.

http://www.mysabah.com/poring/index6.php

http://www.shaolintiger.com/2010/03/05/jackie-the-semi-wild-orangutan-from-kinabalu-park/

 

Your urgent help needed in Aceh, Sumatra

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The Indonesian government wants to clear 1.2 million hectares of protected virgin rainforest on Sumatra island, Indonesia. East Asia Minerals, a Canadian mining company, is one of the major backers of this proposal, which is expected to be approved in only a few weeks time, unless YOU take action NOW.

Help the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme (SOCP) stop this madness.

Sign and share this petition widely.

Follow news about this campaign here. SOCP also URGENTLY need $70,000 in legal fees for this very tough and challenging campaign. Donations can be made on this page.

Thank you for taking action. Please don’t close this page without first sharing it on your online network like Facebook and Twitter. SOCP, the animals and people of Aceh who will be affected by this plan need your help, NOW.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has – Margaret Mead

Conservation ‘Orangutan Island’ style

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We recently returned to visit ‘Orangutan Island’ within the Bukit Merah Laketown Resort. After looking at pictures of this place (link bottom), you will realise what is wrong with Orangutan Island. This island and the resort is owned by a Malaysian businessman, who was valued at USD $235 million in 2007 according to Forbes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Orangutan Island is one of our targets for 2013. We need support and are currently welcoming Malaysian based volunteers. Please contact us at the email address below if you are interested.

fotorangutans@gmail.com

At the same time, we are also looking to get support from other Malaysian wild animal/conservation NGOs, which may not be easy. Consider this statement by Rhett Butler of mongabay.com, who said in an article recently, “Malaysian conservation NGOs…typically don’t confront the government”.

Please see our Flickr page below for the latest pictures we got from Orangutan Island. Look for the “Older” tab above the pictures you see in link to go ‘next’.

Friends of the Orangutans (FOTO) is now in a busy period, including sourcing for funds and local support to ensure our campaigns and projects are carried out according to plans.

Join Friends of the Orangutans on our Facebook page, link is available on the right side of the main home page.

Stay tuned and thank you for your support thus far!

Young, orphan orangutans should be in a rehabilitation centre, not a luxury hotel

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Our petition to help orangutans at the Shangri-la Rasa Ria resort has gathered over a thousand signatures, meaning the Sabah Wildlife Department has received more than one thousand emails regarding the treatment of orangutans at Rasa Ria. The pressure is piling.

Another letter from a supporter has been published to demand that we get the answers we have been patiently waiting for.

Read this letter and you will agree that young, orphan orangutans belong in a rehabilitation centre, not in a luxury hotel.

Orphaned orangutan should be in Sepilok

December 4, 2012

FMT LETTER: From Jane, via e-mail

Having visited Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria in Sabah, I can confirm that it is a superior resort with exceptionally high standards and guests are treated in a first class manner. Anyone who has stayed at a conference there can confirm this.

But, why does a 5* beach resort keep orangutans? I have never fathomed what the point of this exercise is? Is the issue of orangutan conservation and protection really such a high priority for the majority of international tourists who stay at 5* establishments, that they are desperate to visit the ones who are kept there?

I would urge the Sabah Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment, Masidi Manjun, to please ask the Sabah Wildlife Department to answer the many concerns posed by Malaysian based NGO, Friends of the Orangutans, which has asked repeated questions about the orangutans at Rasa Ria which have so far been ignored.

For example, why was Tenten, the orphaned orangutan, sent to a holiday resort rather than being kept at Sepilok where there would appear to be a better chance of successful rehabilitaion for this young ape? What happened to Tenten’s mother? Was she killed? If so, was anyone prosecuted for the killing?

Can the SWD also please inform concerned people  about what happened to the mothers of other young orphans at Sepilok?

Is there a full time vet at Rasa Ria? A three-year-old orangutan named Wulan, rescued by plantation workers on the East Coast of Sabah, was also recently sent to Rasa Ria. Again, why? And does anyone know what happened to Wulan’s mother?

Rasa Ria is a 5* resort that puts its Western equivalents to shame. But what good is that to orangutans? My view is that orangutans are neither needed or required to be sent there.

Why not keep them at Sepilok where they can, hopefully, begin the long rehabilitaion process which may eventually lead to their release and freedom? Isn’t that what anyone who cares about orangutans would advocate?

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/opinion/2012/12/04/orphaned-orangutan-should-be-in-sepilok/

 

Please do sign and share the Rasa Rasa petition:

http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/reveal-treatment-of-orangutans-at-rasa-ria-resort

 

Thank you for caring.

“The measure of a society can be how well its people treat its animals.” ~Mohandas Gandhi

Questions on Rasa Ria remain unanswered

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Questions on Rasa Ria remain unanswered

December 3, 2012

FMT LETTER: From  Suzanne Vigenser (Australia), via e-mail

Why won’t the Sabah Wildlife Department answer questions regarding treatment of orangutans at Rasa Ria. To the director, Dr Laurentius Ambu, why have you remained silent on this issue and will you answer the following questions put to you and the Sabah Wildlife Department please.

Why was Tenten the orphaned orangutan sent to a holiday resort rather than be retained at Sepilok for rehabilition? Isn’t Sepilok better able to administer the care and expertise required of such a young orangutan? We imagine donors to Orangutan Appeal UK would be alarmed and disappointed to discover Sepilok is passing on cute babies to a luxurious hotel.

Was anyone arrested and prosecuted for the killing of Tenten’s adult mother? The Shangri-la company has recently announced a big increase in profits. Why, therefore, do they solicit donations at the resort and what happens to this money?

Is there a permanent, full time vet at Rasa Ria? How often does the SWD inspect the orangutans and their cages? We received reports of volunteers sent home for taking pictures of the condition of orangutans? Why is this so?

How many orangutans have died at Rasa Ria in the last five years? In this regard we have received a worrying report. By not addressing the above questions it raises suspicion that Sabah is not doing their job in protecting wildlife and orangutans and that is not proactive as it claims.

end

Direct link to article here

Why the Shangri-la Rasa Ria orangutan secrecy?

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Despite several attempts to get answers from the Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD) regarding the exploitation of young orangutans at the exclusive Shangri-la Rasa Ria resort in the Malaysian Borneo state of Sabah, our efforts have been responded with a veil of secrecy and silence.

Please take a look at the letter published by Free Malaysia Today below, and if you care for orangutans, you should be worried too about the welfare of these majestic red apes at Rasa Ria.

At the moment Friends of the Orangutans (FOTO) is the only Malaysian NGO seeking to help the orangutans at Rasa Ria, which means we need your support in this campaign.

Please will you today write to Free Malaysia Today and demand Datuk Masidi Manjun, the Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister to get the SWD to answer all questions raised by FOTO. Send your letters to:

editor@freemalaysiatoday.com.

Use the letter below as a guide, but you only need to write a short letter, e.g. 2 paragraphs. If you need help, please send us an email at fotorangutans@gmail.com.

Please also sign and share this petition widely on your Facebook/Twitter:

Reveal Treatment Of Orangutans At Rasa Ria RESORT

 

“To say nothing, to do nothing, stops nothing” ~Roni McCall

Thank you for caring.

 

Why the Shangri-la Rasa Ria orangutan secrecy?

November 21, 2012

FMT LETTER: From Upreshpal Singh, via e-mail

I’d like to addresses this letter to Masidi Manjun, the Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister. Having failed multiple times to obtain any transparency from Dr Laurentius Yambu, director of the Sabah Wildlife Department, regarding orangutans kept at Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort Nature Reserve, we are hoping you will treat our requests more positively.

Please can you inform us:

  • Why was Tenten the orphaned orangutan sent to a holiday resort rather than be retained at Sepilok for rehabilitation?
  • Isn’t Sepilok better able to administer the care and expertise required of such a young orangutan? We imagine donors to Orangutan Appeal UK would be alarmed and very disappointed to discover Sepilok is passing on cute babies to a luxurious hotel.
  • Was anyone arrested and prosecuted for the killing of Tenten’s adult mother?
  • The Shangri-la company has recently announced a big increase in profits. Why, therefore, do they solicit donations at the resort and what happens to this money?
  • Is there a permanent, full time vet at Rasa Ria?
  • How often does the SWD inspect the orangutans and their cages?
  • We received reports of volunteers sent home for taking pictures of the condition of orangutans? Why is this so?
  • How many orangutans have died at Rasa Ria in the last five years? In this regard we have received a worrying report.

We are sure you agree that when a government department and/or employee refuses to disclose information in the public interest, it only creates greater interest while suspicion snowballs.

Much has been said recently about Sabah’s wish to be more proactive in helping orangutans, so we only hope our request will be addressed.

The writer is Founder, Friends of the Orangutans

 

end

Direct link to article here.

Help us with our Orangutan Island campaign

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Back in mid May the Natural Resources and Environment (NRE) minister Douglas Uggah Embas gave assurance that our concerns (from our investigations) regarding orangutan deaths and babies being separated from their mothers at the Orangutan Island (OUI) in Bukit Merah Laketown Resort would be investigated. More than three months on, we have heard nothing. Our half a dozen email attempts have been unanswered.

We need to put more pressure on the NRE to get answers, in order for us to help orangutans at OUI further.

Please will you write to Free Malaysia Today (FMT) regarding this matter and demand that the NRE reveal their investigations? FMT are a non-pro government online paper which have published the most animal welfare letters:

editor@freemalaysiatoday.com

You may refer to this letter below for ideas, your email can be shorter and straight to the point though:

Reveal orang utan death findings

 

Thank you for taking action, your help much appreciated.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has – Margaret Mead