With less than 30 animals left in Borneo and an estimated 80 animals in Sumatra, the Sumatran rhino should be a constant reminder to all consumers of the devastating effect industrial palm oil plantations have on wildlife.
WWF's statement surprised many long-time palm oil watchers, but the organization deserves enormous credit for sticking to its principles and making clear that companies cannot claim sustainability just by sticking an RSPO label on their product while continuing to destroy the Earth's forests.
Our forests should not be sold off to the highest bidder. I want to see development for my country and its people -- but I want this to be fairly negotiated, and respectful of both Cameroonians and our forests.
Honduras is one more case in the epidemic of global land grabs sweeping the planet. Hundreds of thousands of peasants and indigenous people are being violently displaced. The result has been called "The War on Peasants."
The main culprit in the catastrophe facing orangutans is palm oil, a widely used cheap additive found in everything from food products to biofuels. Indeed, estimates say palm oil is now in more than 50 percent of all consumer goods.
By asking ourselves critical questions about where ingredients like palm oil come from and under what conditions they are produced, we transcend the pattern of passive exploitative consumption that is destroying communities and ecosytems around the world.
Ecological and economic welfare are two sides of the same coin and having to choose between developing economies and societies on one hand, and protecting the environment on the other, is a false dilemma.
In the Olympics of forest defense, protection of natural rainforests from destruction by the companies feeding voracious markets is what will make the difference between a gold medal and unimaginable loss... and optimistic it may be, but I'm putting my money on a win.
This is what happens when good people come together, whether in real-time or online, with a strong purpose and with intention to change what needs to be changed to create a more sustainable peaceful, prosperous planet for all.
Visiting orangutans in the wilds tops my bucket list and it is clear I am running out of time. Nearly 700 orangutans were just slaughtered by local villagers in Kalimantan, the Indonesian portion of Borneo.
These trade agreements achieve a rare trifecta: it's hard to imagine a single initiative that at one time could so infuriate anti-corporate activists, labor unions, and environmentalists at the very moment these disparate movements are finding solidarity and support in the streets.
Although little noted thus far in the U.S., Indonesia has just announced the details of a program intended to diminish forest destruction and thereby reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that scientists say are the main cause of climate change.