(WILDLIFE) AFRICA — Unknown to many Americans across the country, the production of palm oil is deadly to many living things, and it’s a product that manifests itself in over 50 percent of packaged goods including chips, cookies, cake mix, canned soup, and even baby formula. Palm oil is also predominantly found in cooking oil, soaps, and cosmetics.

The survival of orangutans is being increasingly threatened by society's growing rate of palm oil consumption. Photo Credit: WWF
The survival of orangutans is being increasingly threatened by society’s growing rate of palm oil consumption. Photo Credit: WWF

The market’s increase in demand for palm oil over the past several years has threatened rainforests around the world, specifically Southeast Asia. Recently, however, the industry has invaded a different region, Cameroon, Africa.

In Southeast Asia, palm oil production has already caused the loss of over 80 percent of rainforests in the Sumatra and Borneo islands, destroying vital habitats for orangutans and other species who call the area home.

Other consequences of palm oil production include numerous environmental threats such as pollution, climate change, and global warming, as well as disregard for the rights of local natives.

U.S. corporation Herakles Farms released plans to begin formation of a palm oil plantation ten times the size of Manhattan in Cameroon.

Animal and environmental activists have won many battles against such destruction occurring in Indonesia, and now it’s time to save Africa.

The destruction of rainforests has had terrible implications for the wellbeing of the natural world as well as ourselves. Photo Credit: world.edu
The destruction of rainforests has had terrible implications for the wellbeing of the natural world as well as ourselves. Photo Credit: world.edu

Science has shown that the rainforest Herakles plans to destroy is home to elephants, chimpanzees, and other endangered wildlife like the red colobus monkey. It also provides for the livelihoods of more than 14,000 Cameroonians who rely on the forest for small subsistence farming, many of whom oppose the project,” according to Greenpeace Forest Campaign Director Rolf Skar.

In June, the project was temporarily halted as an increasing number of people, including some of the Cameroonian government, raised questions about the corporation’s activity. But now, the plan is progressing more than ever.

Over the next few months, Greenpeace will continue to work with local partners in Arica to stop this project and to showcase solutions with farmers already active in the region,” says Skar.

So What Can You Do?

Help shine a public spotlight on Herakles Farms’ African palm oil plantation proposal by sending a message to the company’s CEO. With enough support and enough people taking action against the destructive project, the company will not be able to ignore demands and will be forced to address the truth about it’s plans in Africa.

— Kayla Newcomer, exclusive to Global Animal

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