Tell the palm oil industry: Orangutans are no pests!

The BBC reports: Orangutans are treated as pest and exterminated on Indonesian and Malaysian palm oil plantations. In the last year alone, up to 1,800 orangutans were killed in Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo). Please write to the Malaysian Palm Oil Council and protest with your signature against the slaughter of orangutans.

The orangutang’s mother has been killed on a palm oil plantation

"Some workers found an orangutan on the plantation," one of their colleagues said in the BBC interview. "The company paid them $100 for it. I don't know what the company did with the ape, but they want them gone because they see them as pests."

Although Orangutans are protected by law in Indonesia, they are being hunted mercilessly. Their natural habitat is threatened by the extreme expansion of palmoil plantations. The rainforest is being clear-cut and consequently, the orangutang’s livelihood is destroyed forever. They wander hungry through the plantations as though in a daze, looking for food and thus eat the palm seedlings. Palm oil plantation workers are paid to kill orangutans either before a forest is cleared or, if they see any in a plantation. Either way, it is totally illegal to harass, harm or kill any orangutans.

more information

Support the call by well-known orangutang-environmentalist Sean Whyte and Rainforest Rescue to protect these highly endangered apes. Sign our protest letter to the palmoil industry and demand judicial standards to protect the orangutans. Orangutangs are no pests!

Read more about the background in these articles:

BBC News: Palm oil threat to Indonesia's orangutans
BBC Video
Jakarta Globe: Police Name Three More Suspects In Orangutan Slaughter Case
Report by Greenomics
Research Article about Killing of Orangutans

An employee of Rainforest Rescue hands over signatures to a board member of the Malaysian Palm Oil Council Handing over the signatures to Kalyana Sundram of the MPOC

Mar 7, 2012

Handover of signatures against the orangutan killings

At a lobbyist event of the Malaysian palm oil industry that took place in Berlin on March 1st, 2012, we handed over nearly 36.500 signatures of people protesting against the killing of orangutans on palm oil plantations.

At a lobbyist event of the Malaysian palm oil industry that took place in Berlin on March 1st, 2012, we handed over nearly 36.500 signatures of people protesting against the killing of orangutans on palm oil plantations.

Kalyana Sundram who is on the board of the lobby group of the Malaysian palm oil industry (Malaysian Palm Oil Council, MPOC) accepted the signatures. He was impressed by the number of supporters the petition “Tell the palm oil industry: Orangutans are no pests!” that had been started by Rainforest Rescue had gained.

Currently, orangutans can only be found on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo. Indonesia is home to 90 per cent of the basic population. The remaining 10 per cent live in the federal territory of Malaysia. Orangutans are critically endangered animals, and that is why they are protected on international levels. Palm oil plantations pose one of the biggest threats to the great apes, since the rainforests are being cleared in order to create monocultures. After losing their natural habitat, the animals wander hungrily across the plantations and eat the palm seedlings – and because of that, many plantation owners see them as pests.

Since his association had influence on Malaysian companies, the MPOC could exert pressure on them, Sundram explained. In the course of our interview, he asserted that the MPOC had introduced a “Zero Tolerance Policy” due to the international protest against the cases of orangutan killings. Sundram promised that the MPOC would make no compromise and would take legal action against those responsible for the acts of violence against the animals.

Rainforest Rescue will take Kalyana Sundram at his word: We will continue to observe the MPOC critically and pursue the association’s policies. We want to thank all the supporters who have signed our petition.

Tan Sri Datuk Dr Yusof Basiron
Chief Executive Officer
Malaysian Palm Oil Council
2nd. Floor, Wisma Sawit,
Lot 6, SS6, Jalan Perbandaran,
47301 Kelana Jaya,
Selangor Darul Ehsan,

Dear Dr Yusof Basiron,

I learn from press reports that thousands of Orangutans are deliberately killed each year on oil palm plantations.
I also understand from a recent BBC report, oil palm oil companies regard this legally protected species as a pest.

Please will the Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) and its members urgently implement and enforce a 'NO KILL' policy in both Malaysia and Indonesia, thus safeguarding wildlife in general and orangutans in particular?

We know some companies have already agreed to have such a policy, so it surely is feasible for the members of MPOC to follow that

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,


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