London, 26/3 (ANTARA) – An international campaign to save the Orangutan is


underway in Britain where consumers are being discouraged from consuming products


that contain elements of palm oil grown in Malaysia and Indonesia. Several British


charities that focus on the protection of the orangutan launched the campaign by


encouraging well-known British and overseas supermarket chains including ASDA,


Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose to stock and sell products only with the label


‘Orangutan Friendly’


“This is at least one positive step that we can take”, said the Director of the Orangutan


Protection Centre of Indonesia, Hardi Baktiantoro and Sean Whyte from Nature Alert in


an interview with ANTARA in London on Monday.The presence of Hardi Baktiantoro


who will be in Britain until 28 March, is to speak out and attempt to get international


support in respect to wildlife protection and in particular the preservation of the orangutan.


“I am convinced that International support is necessary just as it is in the case of stopping


illegal logging”, said Hardi who since March last year has focused his efforts on saving


the orangutan while working for the Centre of reintroducing the orangutan to their natural


habitat in NyaruMenteng in Central Kalimantan. Hardi recounted his experience with


working to eliminate the illegal trading of animal wildlife. “At that particular time I was


deeply involved in the illegal trading of wildlife; particularly in the international trading


of orangutan species”, he said.His handling of cases of smuggling from and between such


countries as Thailand, Taiwan, the Philippines and Saudi Arabia brought he and Sean


Whyte together. At the time, Sean was already campaigning for the preservation of the


Orangutan. Sean Whyte explained that the orangutan is extremely popular and well-liked


among British society. What is even more of concern to the British public is the


indiscriminate clearing of jungle areas for palm oil plantations which has put the


orangutan at such risk.. As a result, together with charities and other social organizations


which focus o the preservation of the orangutan, he launched a massive campaign which


involved sending letters to various supermarkets, encouraging them not to stock or sell


products whose ingredients include palm oil.




Hardi explained how the orangutans bleed to death, how their bones are shattered and


their heads are mangled after being repeatedly struck with metal bars by plantation


owners and workers.He added that throughout 2006, as many as 300 orangutans had been


treated at the reintroduction centre and it is estimated that 1500 more may have been


killed in their habitats.


Palm Oil Expansion


According to Hardi, the situation is exacerbated by the difficulty in locating areas in


which the recovering orangutans can be released back into the wild since more and more


areas are being cleared for the palm oil plantations.


“I estimate that the slaughter of orangutans will continue” , he said and added that


whatever can be done to help the injured animals from the plantations is like mopping up


the water when the tap is leaking. Hardi has taken the decision to do whatever he is


capable of in trying to put an end to the ever expanding areas of palm oil plantations


which are responsible for the clearing of jungle areas. “This is simply the only way to


deal with this issue, despite the dangers of personal retaliation by those who have vested


interests in the palm oil business”, he added.


Hardi, who established the Centre for the Protection of Orangutans, is pushing on to


protect and serve the best interests of the orangutan. “If the international community


demands palm oil’s accountability on this issue, naturally Indonesia will have to take

action. This is simply the only way forward.”



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