Deforestation is the greatest threat to the orangutan’s survival, and a great percentage of deforestation is set in motion to convert the land to oil palm cultivation.
The rain forest, the natural habitat of the orangutan, is cleared for the benefit of plantations that can produce cheap vegetable oil for the rest of the world. Today, 92% of the world’s collective consumption of palm oil comes from two countries: Indonesia and Malaysia.
The demand for palm oil is increasing, both in Indonesia and globally. For instance, Denmark imports more than 150,000 tons of palm oil annually despite an intensified international focus on the environmental consequences of palm oil.
Palm oil as a vegetable oil is added in food, cleaning materials, and several other products. Palm oil is the most common vegetable oil in the world, and Europe has gradually increased the use of palm oil in biodiesel in the last few years.
Half of the Borneo’s rain forests are cleared to benefit the palm oil industry and its sub-groups. The deforestation leaves the Orangutan and thousands of other species without a home. Consequently, their ability to survive is affected greatly.
The Orangutans are isolated within small enclaves of the rain=forests, unable to forage for food and too close to humans. Additionally, the forest is often burnt after having been cleared. This can start uncontrollable forest fires, which destroy even more of the forest and damage the climate.
The problem is not the oil palm plantations or the palm oil in themselves, except for chopping down the oxygen supply as an alternative for diesel fuel for the profit-based automotive industry.
The problem is rather the destruction of the rain forest, and thus the orangutan’s habitat, for the benefit of palm oil production. In terms of the orangutan’s survival, a paradox exists in that the orangutan is protected but its rain forest home is not?
The Orangutan Jungle School series will take viewers on a roller coaster ride of the adventures, trials and tribulations, heartaches, fun, friends, failures and successes of all the orangutans who attend the BOS Foundation’s unique school in a Borneo jungle in Central Kalimantan Indonesia.
They are all orphans of murdered Orangutans and are learning skills that one day will enable them to live once again in a true wilderness? We follow the progress of the only known albino orangutan on the planet – beautiful Alba as plans are made for her future.
With their rain forest habitat being destroyed by deforestation at an alarming rate there are currently over 300 students going through the school system divided up to suit the age and skill range from babies just a few weeks old, to teenagers and young adults.
Through their lessons in baby nursery, forest school and the island university all these youngsters are adapting to the challenges of being taught survival skills by humans as they also deal with the ever-increasing social pressures of life in a tightly-knit community which could determine the future of their species.
This incredible show has it all: friendship, romance, bullies, danger, drama, raging hormones, fear, humor, medical emergencies, heartache, rescues, reunions, attempted escapes, and even teenage pregnancy! And of course most importantly – actual release for graduates – back into the wild.
You’ve experienced it in your own lives. Now see it play out in the real lives of these orphaned orangutans… many of whom will steal your heart and maybe stop buying excessive products made with palm oil products.
Save the Orangutan Organization / Crickey Conservation Society 2022.