Indonesian Rainforest At Risk
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I have just had an email from Nick Young from Greenpeace. Greenpeace representatives are in downtown Auckland right at this moment at a conference of Fonterra officials.
Greenpeace are trying to alert the public as to the negative effects Fonterra is having on the Indonesian rainforest.
Greenpeace claim that Fonterra have links to the destruction of the rainforest in Indonesia. On Tuesday, they made public a report which they say confirms that Fonterra has links to destroying forest to make way for the planting of palm plantations.
Greenpeace were at Kalimantan over the weekend, where they captured extensive footage of the forest destruction.
Palm Plantation Industry: Palm plantations produce palm oil, which is highly sought after by many food producers and makers of cosmetics. It is even used as fuel in some parts of the world. Palm oil production is a big industry which is rapidly destroying rainforests in many parts of the world.
Pine Forests Destroy Native Forests in New Zealand: Big industry is destroying the rainforests, not only in Indonesia and other counties, but right here in New Zealand. The Taupo hills are just one area which used to be covered with native bush. Now, it is pretty much pine forest all the way, except for the cosmetic planting of a few exotic trees alongside the road for the tourists to see.
Big industry has much to answer for in destroying the environment: Mining, drilling for oil, even growing pine trees on a mammoth scale such as we do in New Zealand for overseas markets, are all examples of industries which are destroying our environment. Apart from the damage done, these industries are UNSUSTAINABLE.
In the case of mining in New Zealand, or anywhere, for that matter: once the goods have been taken and sold off, that’s it. No more.
In the case of growing pine oil plantations in Indonesia, AND pine tree plantations in New Zealand, where we have cut down native forest to support this industry, it not only ruins the environment, but the practice is unsustainable. This is because the soil becomes more depleted with each planting. Pine trees make the soil more acidic, so that nothing much else will grow there. Massive erosion occurs when the rains come each time the trees are cut down. I am sure that the effects will be similar in Indonesia, where palm oil plantations have been planted. Eventually, these large areas of pine tree forest, or palm plantation, will become desert land.
We are told that these big companies ‘give people jobs’, which they do. But often at the expense of the environment. Think local, rather than global when it comes to economic values. We need small societies which are based on organic agriculture, with locally based economies. It should be our aim to produce as many of our living requirements in the local area: from food, to clothing manufacture to building materials. If we do not have what is needed, then an alternative should be sought, in keeping with materials available.
Our society needs to change so that we were all begin to care properly for our local environment and take some responsibility for our needs and our own communities.
We in New Zealand are supposed to be ‘clean’ and ‘green’. The rest of the world sees us as being protective of the environment, which is just what Greenpeace are doing today – being protective of the environment. But I think we need to address our own situation here in New Zealand too.