Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving from Malaysia!

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Arrives in Kota Kinabalu for the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil Meeting
by Dina Bredahl, Animal Care Manager and Palm Oil Awareness Team

What has Cheyenne Mountain Zoo’s Palm Oil Awareness Team been up to? Planning another trip to Indonesia and Malaysia to learn more about palm oil issues and how we can help wild orangutans.

During our first trip to Indonesia and Malaysia in May/June of 2010, we learned so much about palm oil production and issues, as well as many other factors affecting the people and wildlife. We did not think we would be returning again anytime soon. But then Cheyenne Mountain Zoo became the first zoo to join the RSPO (Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil). We decided to attend RT9, the 9th annual RSPO conference in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. This would be our first opportunity to attend an RSPO meeting as members, and be able to vote on issues in the general assembly!

In recent months we planned a trip to not only include the RSPO meeting but also to visit Sumatra and work with a conservation group we have never worked with before, Orangutan Information Centre (OIC). We have an exciting itinerary planned over the next two weeks.

After leaving the US on November 19th, and traveling for 37 hours, we finally made it safely to our hotel in Kota Kinabalu (with all of our luggage!). We attended the first day of RT9 on Tuesday, we are definitely learning a lot. We split up for the preparatory clusters topics in the morning; Tracey went to Biodiversity High Conservation Value, Debbie and Antonia went to Smallholders (these are often individual family-run small plots of oil palms), Liz and Lori went to RSPO 101 and Dina went to palm oil greenhouse gas issues. The keynote speaker, Jonathon Porritt, gave a very inspiring talk about environmental issues on a broad scope, how RSPO fits into the big picture, and how other crops/industries will be modeling their sustainability programs after the RSPO.

Find out more about palm oil and orangutans on our palm oil crisis page and check back soon - we’ll send updates when we can!

First day of RT9, the RSPO conference in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.
From left: Antonia Alvarado (El Paso Zoo), 
Lori Perkins (Zoo Atlanta), Liz Harmon (Kansas City Zoo), 
Tracey Gazibara (Cheyenne Mountain Zoo), Debbie Fenton 
(Cheyenne Mountain Zoo) and Dina Bredahl (Cheyenne Mountain Zoo) 

No comments:

Post a Comment