Jarrod and I were lucky enough to be invited to the Hope 4 Apes event at the Lyceum last night as Steppes Discovery were donating travel vouchers as the top raffle prize to raise funds and awareness of Great apes and other species.
All the leading luminaries on primate conservation were there, including Ian Redmond, Jane Goodall and Birute Galdikas. Sir David Attenborough hosted the evening and introduced each speaker – and each one gave an inspiring speech focussed on a species.
What struck me, however, was the common theme that seemed to flow through every passionate plea – and that was the urgent need for habitat protection and the success this can mean for a primary species and for all flora and fauna.
Carbon offsetting and tree planting aside – it simply makes no sense to replant samplings in rainforests that products like palm oil so readily deplete and level. Why not protect these ancient forests and many of the fieldwork on these primate projects does just that with regular census and anti-logging/poaching patrols. What has happened in Borneo is now a real threat to Africa.
So I urge you to think twice before buying products with palm oil that aren’t sustainably sourced and if you join one of our primate tours you are helping efforts being made both locally and internationally to support these fragile ecosystems and our distant cousins.