Malaysia to spend $7.7M to defend palm oil from criticism
The Malaysian government will spend 24 million ringgit ($7.7 million) in 2011 and 2012 to counter criticism over the social and environmental impact of palm oil, reportsANTARA.Deputy Minister for Plantation Industries and Commodities Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin said Malaysia would “promote the advantages” of palm oil relative to other alternatives. He added that conversion of rainforests for oil palm plantations “is not damaging the environment,” citing Malaysia’s current forest cover as proof."In Malaysia, the total land area covered by forests is 56.4 per cent," he said.Malaysia is the world’s second largest producer of palm oil after Indonesia. It has roughly 4.5 million hectares of oil palm plantations.Malaysia aims to increase production over the next decade by improving productivity across existing plantations and targeting roughly a million hectares of indigenous forest land in Sarawak, a state in Malaysian Borneo. Environmentalists and human rights activists complain that planned expansion will run roughshod over traditional communities while destroying large areas of rainforest.Past and current efforts by Malaysia to defend palm oil against criticism have met mixed reviews. In 2009 Britain’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), a group that regulates advertisements, banned a “misleading” ad by the palm oil industry. Bloggers and journalists have also complained about a deluge of comment spam whenever they post an article critical of palm oil.The oil palm is the world’s most productive commercial oil seed. Palm oil is used widely as a cooking oil and in processed food products, cosmetics, and cleaning agents. Europe is considering importing palm oil biodiesel to help meet renewable fuels targets, although recent scientific research indicates that greenhouse gas emissions savings from switching to palm oil from conventional fossil fuels are non-existent when forests and peatlands are cleared to produce palm oil.MAKES ME SO ANGRY! NOT DAMAGING TO THE ENVIRONMENT????? AARRRGGGHH

Malaysia to spend $7.7M to defend palm oil from criticism

The Malaysian government will spend 24 million ringgit ($7.7 million) in 2011 and 2012 to counter criticism over the social and environmental impact of palm oil, reportsANTARA.

Deputy Minister for Plantation Industries and Commodities Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin said Malaysia would “promote the advantages” of palm oil relative to other alternatives. He added that conversion of rainforests for oil palm plantations “is not damaging the environment,” citing Malaysia’s current forest cover as proof.

"In Malaysia, the total land area covered by forests is 56.4 per cent," he said.

Malaysia is the world’s second largest producer of palm oil after Indonesia. It has roughly 4.5 million hectares of oil palm plantations.

Malaysia aims to increase production over the next decade by improving productivity across existing plantations and targeting roughly a million hectares of indigenous forest land in Sarawak, a state in Malaysian Borneo. Environmentalists and human rights activists complain that planned expansion will run roughshod over traditional communities while destroying large areas of rainforest.

Past and current efforts by Malaysia to defend palm oil against criticism have met mixed reviews. In 2009 Britain’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), a group that regulates advertisements, banned a “misleading” ad by the palm oil industry. Bloggers and journalists have also complained about a deluge of comment spam whenever they post an article critical of palm oil.

The oil palm is the world’s most productive commercial oil seed. Palm oil is used widely as a cooking oil and in processed food products, cosmetics, and cleaning agents. Europe is considering importing palm oil biodiesel to help meet renewable fuels targets, although recent scientific research indicates that greenhouse gas emissions savings from switching to palm oil from conventional fossil fuels are non-existent when forests and peatlands are cleared to produce palm oil.

MAKES ME SO ANGRY! NOT DAMAGING TO THE ENVIRONMENT????? AARRRGGGHH

Madagascar should log its rainforests to support exports of raw timber, Madagascar’s interim leader Andry Rajoelina told the BBC in an interview."The Malagasy do not need to rosewood, they need funding," said Rajoelina, who seized power during unrest in 2009. Rosewood is a tropical hardwood valued for use in furniture and musical instruments.In the interview Rajoelina downplayed the idea of developing value-added industries for rosewood within Madagascar, saying that training would take too long.Madagascar’s national parks have been hard hit by illegal logging, which increased significantly in the months following Rajoelina’s power grab in 2009. The Malagasy government has since reinstated a ban on rosewood experts, partly due to pressure from the international community.Madagascar is one of the world’s top conservation priorities. Its unique plant and animal species attract tens of thousands of tourists who spend hundreds of millions of dollars each year. In contrast the rosewood trade is controlled by a small, politically-connected syndicate. Loggers themselves are paid a pittance.Madagascar’s timber exports have been made U.S. news lately due to an investigation into the sourcing practices of Gibson Guitars. The federal government alleges that Gibson knowingly imported illegally logged wood from Madagascar in violation of the Lacey Act. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service raided a Gibson facility and seized suspect materials in 2009.
WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK??!!

Madagascar should log its rainforests to support exports of raw timber, Madagascar’s interim leader Andry Rajoelina told the BBC in an interview.

"The Malagasy do not need to rosewood, they need funding," said Rajoelina, who seized power during unrest in 2009. Rosewood is a tropical hardwood valued for use in furniture and musical instruments.

In the interview Rajoelina downplayed the idea of developing value-added industries for rosewood within Madagascar, saying that training would take too long.

Madagascar’s national parks have been hard hit by illegal logging, which increased significantly in the months following Rajoelina’s power grab in 2009. The Malagasy government has since reinstated a ban on rosewood experts, partly due to pressure from the international community.

Madagascar is one of the world’s top conservation priorities. Its unique plant and animal species attract tens of thousands of tourists who spend hundreds of millions of dollars each year. In contrast the rosewood trade is controlled by a small, politically-connected syndicate. Loggers themselves are paid a pittance.

Madagascar’s timber exports have been made U.S. news lately due to an investigation into the sourcing practices of Gibson Guitars. The federal government alleges that Gibson knowingly imported illegally logged wood from Madagascar in violation of the Lacey Act. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service raided a Gibson facility and seized suspect materials in 2009.

WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK??!!

McDonald’s Corp. has officially joined the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), a body that sets criteria for improving the social and environmental performance of palm oil production. The move bolsters the RSPO, which has recently been joined by other major companies, including Walmart, The Hershey Company, and Citigroup, and has seen uptake of its certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO) increase. 
Learn more about CSPO here

McDonald’s Corp. has officially joined the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), a body that sets criteria for improving the social and environmental performance of palm oil production. 

The move bolsters the RSPO, which has recently been joined by other major companies, including Walmart, The Hershey Company, and Citigroup, and has seen uptake of its certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO) increase. 

Learn more about CSPO here


Toilet paper brand wipes out forests and endangered species

An investigation released today reveals that Auckland based company Cottonsoft is sourcing its toilet paper from rainforests in Indonesia, home of the critically-endangered Sumatran tiger.The evidence is the result of an eight-month investigation by Greenpeace, the Green Party and WWF-New Zealand into exactly where the toilet paper sold by New Zealand retailers originates from. 
Cottonsoft refused to disclose where they were sourcing their toilet paper from so samples were sent to a US laboratory for forensic testing. This confirmed the presence of mixed tropical hardwoods (timber that comes from rainforests) in a range of Cottonsoft products.

Toilet paper brand wipes out forests and endangered species

An investigation released today reveals that Auckland based company Cottonsoft is sourcing its toilet paper from rainforests in Indonesia, home of the critically-endangered Sumatran tiger.

The evidence is the result of an eight-month investigation by Greenpeace, the Green 
Party and WWF-New Zealand into exactly where the toilet paper sold by New Zealand retailers originates from. 


Cottonsoft refused to disclose where they were sourcing their toilet paper from so samples were sent to a US laboratory for forensic testing. This confirmed the presence of mixed tropical hardwoods (timber that comes from rainforests) in a range of Cottonsoft products.


Toucans With GPS Backpacks Help Biologists Study Tropical Forest

Toucans outfitted with GPS backpacks are helping researchers track the spread of seeds in tropical forests.
The nutmeg-loving toucan unwittingly plants new trees by gulping whole seeds, processing the soft outer pulp in its crop, and spitting out the hard inner seed. But researchers could only guess how far the seeds would drop from a parent tree.

So conservation biologists from theSmithsonian Tropical Research Institute netted six toucans from a rainforest near Gamboa, Panama, and strapped on lightweight backpacks containing a GPS tracker and an accelerometer. The backpacks recorded location and activity level, and were designed to fall off after 10 days.
By matching the roaming data with average regurgitation times from zoo toucans, the researchers calculated that seeds are dropped about 470 feet away from their mother tree. Toucans, they also found, were most active in the morning, followed by a lunchtime lull, with a secondary peak in activity in the afternoon, a common pattern for tropical birds.
“Seeds ingested in morning (breakfast) and afternoon (dinner) were more likely to achieve significant dispersal than seeds ingested mid day (lunch),” write Roland Kays and his colleagues in Acta Oecologica.
The fruit of nutmeg trees typically ripen early in the day, possibly to take advantage of the toucan’s early morning activity.

Toucans With GPS Backpacks Help Biologists Study Tropical Forest

Toucans outfitted with GPS backpacks are helping researchers track the spread of seeds in tropical forests.

The nutmeg-loving toucan unwittingly plants new trees by gulping whole seeds, processing the soft outer pulp in its crop, and spitting out the hard inner seed. But researchers could only guess how far the seeds would drop from a parent tree.

So conservation biologists from theSmithsonian Tropical Research Institute netted six toucans from a rainforest near Gamboa, Panama, and strapped on lightweight backpacks containing a GPS tracker and an accelerometer. The backpacks recorded location and activity level, and were designed to fall off after 10 days.

By matching the roaming data with average regurgitation times from zoo toucans, the researchers calculated that seeds are dropped about 470 feet away from their mother tree. Toucans, they also found, were most active in the morning, followed by a lunchtime lull, with a secondary peak in activity in the afternoon, a common pattern for tropical birds.

“Seeds ingested in morning (breakfast) and afternoon (dinner) were more likely to achieve significant dispersal than seeds ingested mid day (lunch),” write Roland Kays and his colleagues in Acta Oecologica.

The fruit of nutmeg trees typically ripen early in the day, possibly to take advantage of the toucan’s early morning activity.