Ideas to help animals

In October, the University of Melbourne’s ‘Festival of Ideas’ is a smorgasbord of events. One of these events aims to help the orangutan under threat in Indonesia and Borneo by highlighting the devastating effects of palm oil production.  

Palm oil is used in a number of everyday items including snack foods, cleaning products and toiletries.

Current palm oil production methods have a dire impact on the environment and communities in which the industry operates. These devastating consequences include the deforestation of pristine rainforest in Indonesia and Borneo, putting already vulnerable species at risk of extinction.

In Australia, palm oil is still often labelled inaccurately due to non-mandatory labelling laws, leaving consumers none the wiser.

Certified sustainable palm oil production is one solution, and the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) aims to transform markets in the coming years to make sustainable palm oil the norm.

The University of Melbourne’s inaugural palm oil event on Friday 4 October will kick start the conversation, help raise awareness and share knowledge on issues associated with palm oil.

The event includes:

  • A panel of experts chaired by science and innovation broadcaster and University strategy adviser Dr Shane Huntington:
  • Emily Dunston, Zoo Victoria’s Community Conservation Manager – ‘Don’t Palm Us Off’ campaign
  • Jess McKelson, Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Programme / Organic palm oil pilot project leader / former Melbourne Zoo orangutan carer
  • Samantha Balaton-Chrimes, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Deakin University, academic expert on the social impacts of the palm oil industry
  • Kim Watkins, Ambassador from the Australian branch of Orangutan Foundation International (OFI)

The free event also includes screening of the award winning documentary The Last Trimate, which highlights the plight of wildlife and communities in the path of palm oil production.
Sustainable / palm oil free refreshments will be provided by University food vendors.

To find out more or to book your place click here

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