Territory Stories

Sunday Territorian 24 Aug 2014



Sunday Territorian 24 Aug 2014


Sunday Territorian; NewspaperNT




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Community newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.; Australian newspapers -- Northern Territory -- Darwin.

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Nationwide News Pty. Limited

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Copyright. Made available by the publisher under licence.

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Nationwide News Pty. Limited



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SUNDAY AUGUST 24 2014 LIFESTYLE 21 V1 - NTNE01Z01MA The lowland forest habitats of Asias only great ape are quickly disappearing. They are being cut down for timber or burned or destroyed to make way for oil palm plantations and other agricultural developments. International news reports claim thousands of orangutans have been killed and 80 per cent of their habitat has been lost in the past 20 years, mostly as a result of fires deliberately lit by palm oil plantation companies. The companies have bulldozed vast areas of land in both Malaysia and Indonesia so far this century. Each palm plantation that destroys thousands of hectares in the pursuit of profits also takes with it the lives of many orang-utans. Government mandates implemented to protect the land and animals are often reversed, leaving the orang-utans to pay the price and the need for animal refuges like Matang Wildlife Centre. HELP NEEDED MR Aben said more volunteers were needed to take part in a conservation initiative called the Heart2Heart with Orangutans program. The one-day program gives participants the opportunity to take part in orang-utan rehabilitation at the Matang Wildlife Centre and neighbouring Semenggoh Wildlife Centre. Volunteers are required to prepare food and games for the orang-utans and clean their pens. The program allows the Sarawak Forestry Corporation which manages the centre and is owned by the Sarawak government to concentrate on rehabilitation of the orangutans and the centres other animals, and further their conservation. Mr Aben said he welcomed Aussie volunteers. We have many volunteers come to us from Australia, he said. The program also aims to raise awareness and funds for the plight of the orang-utan. Donations can be made towards conservation, educational programs, and medicine and food for the orang-utans at the centre. They need rehab (after they are rescued) because they have stayed so long with humans; they lose their survival skills to be in the wild HOW YOU CAN HELP To find out more about the rehabilitation centre visit www.sarawak forestry.com To help protect the habitat of orangutans avoid products that contain palm oil, or only buy those that use traceable, certified, sustainable palm oil. An NGO called POI (Palm Oil Investigations) is set to release a free barcode scanner app in September that lists the palm oil content of more than 80,000 products available in Australia. It also has a downloadable Palm Oil in Disguise list you can keep in your purse to refer to when you go shopping palm oil has multiple uses and more than 200 names. Visit www.palmoil investigations.org