Gibbons on the verge of extinction due to palm oil

In Indonesia, on the island of Borneo, the equivalent of six soccer fields of forest disappears every minute! Entire forests are decimated and burned to ensure the massive production of palm oil. Zoomalia supports Aurélien Brulé’s fight against the disaster that palm oil is causing to the Indonesian fauna, in particular the gibbons, which are threatened with extinction.

Deprived of their natural habitat and unable to adapt to survive in a hostile environment entirely depopulated with trees, these primates, vegetarians by nature, end up dying of hunger. Unlike other monkeys, gibbons can only live in a healthy forest where they have access to water and food. Through his association Kalaweit, founded in 1997, the Frenchman Aurélien Brulé, who has adopted the nickname “Chanee” (which means gibbon in Thai), tries to fight against this sad fate. A fight that is a bit like David’s fight against Goliath, but whose courage and necessity will not fail to be praised.

If we estimate the number of gibbons in Borneo today at about 100,000, the primatologist predicts their disappearance in 15 to 20 years. The nasalians are the first of them to be affected. “The gibbon is very lively and goes from branch to branch, but that doesn’t mean it survives. It doesn’t die in front of the cameras during the fires, but it will be killed by the other gibbons because it has entered their territory”, deplores Aurélien Brulé in the Liberation columns.

Directly involved, according to him, is the palm oil industry, which, since the early 2000s, has been accelerating the process of deforestation. It is thus multiplying arson attacks, year after year, in order to plant palm trees from which it will be able to extract tons and tons of palm oil. When a palm oil company obtains a concession, not a single tree is left within two to three years. This is why, for the Frenchman, every little piece of forest counts. He has already managed to save several hectares, and thus the lives of several gibbons.

However, the gibbons are not the only animals in Indonesia threatened with extinction, it is the entire wildlife that is being decimated: orangutans, panthers, bears… To put an end to what must be called carnage, “Chanee” has called for an outright boycott of food and cosmetic products containing palm oil. “Everywhere, in restaurants or in your store, ask for palm oil-free products,” he pleads. Let’s hope his message is heard.