Agent M

Oct 21, 2011
People's Thoughts On Palm Oil?
I'm subscribed to the Kalaweit organisation newsletter which is a wildlife rescue centre located in Borneo, focusing on Gibbons in particular. It was established by a French man named Chanee who has quite an inspiring story to tell if you ever want to look him up. I mainly just enjoy watching the beautiful videos of rescue to release of the animals - from a sunshine and lollipops perspective.

I received a pretty heavy email yesterday however that really hit home about the issue of palm oil. A combination of this letter and the photos my Facebook friends in Malaysia have been posting of the smog blanketing their cities right now has finally gotten the message to sink in about a small but significant step I can take to help - by being more conscious of the products I buy and boycotting palm oil wherever I can.

I know from my own experiences that even in Australia, a supposed 'land of plenty', saving our wildlife is a losing battle. The general population is ill informed of this reality. The hard truth is that there is no positive outlook to be had until drastic steps are taken by the world's governments, who continue to neglect to take any meaningful action. It is left to the few like Chaneee, to keep patching animals up at their own expense and sending them back out there for a second chance at life. It makes little difference to the issue as a whole, but every difference to the individual animals. And that's why people do it.

While not a cheery message I think this issue is worth a look and I would love to hear any thoughts/feelings for or against that anyone has.

From 27th Sep:


Photo's of the smog that has reached Singapore from Indonesia:

Here is the email from Kalaweit.


Indonesia is killing the planet

Paris, October 2nd, 2015 : While France prepares to receive the COP 21 in order to fight climate change, Indonesia is facing the worst fires since 1997, becoming one of the biggest polluters (by emitting greenhouse gasses) of the planet. Chanee, founder of Kalaweit, lives in the south of Borneo where the situation has become “unbearable” .

Borneo and Sumatra under clouds of smoke each year because of palm oil:

Each year, during the dry season, giant fires ravage the islands of Borneo and Sumatra. These fires are set deliberately in order to quickly convert forests into palm oil plantations. In 2015, they started as early as the month of May in the peat bogs, releasing thick, toxic smoke over entire regions.

The provinces most affected are Kalimantan Tengah, Kalimantan Barat, Kalimantan Selatan in Borneo and, in Sumatra, those of Riau, Jambi and Sumatra Selatan. In Jambi, the local Environmental Agency announced that the index of measure for air quality had reached “very dangerous levels” and a state of urgency had been declared in the province of Riau, situated in front of Singapore.

In Palangkaraya, Kalimantan's central region's capital in Borneo where Chanee lives, all primary schools have been closed for the past month. The city now holds the record for most polluted city in the world. According to Chanee, who has lived there since 1998, "the situation is unbearable".

At the Kalaweit center at Pararawen in Borneo, the animals are showing signs of respiratory problems and concern is growing with regards to the more fragile ones.

According to the Indonesian government, 40 000 hectares have been destroyed. (Official site: But organizations like Kalaweit believe the numbers are more likely to be in the thousands with a possible 200 000 hectares of forest annihilated.

An industry that pushes farmers to grow oil palms:

The rains that might have stopped the fires arrive normally in October. Because of El Nino, which has brought about the worst droughts and fires since 1997/98, they are expected to fall in Indonesia at best in January 2016. Millions of hectares of forest will have been reduced to ashes by then.

The fires, which are deliberately started, have had time to spread, creating more room for future palm oil plantations. It is the palm oil companies as well as the land owners, pushed by the palm oil industry, who burn the forests in order to transform them into plantations.
According to Chanee, Kalaweit's founder, the government should have acted as of May as the fires are now out of control and the situation is of a scale unheard of before.

More than 75% of the Tripa region in the south of Sumatra is covered in palm oil plantations. The number of orangutans has decreased from more than 1 000 in the 1990's down to 200 today. They share, along with gibbons and other species, a territory of 17 000 hectares of forest that have resisted the plantation of oil palms.

Can the COP 21 change anything?

Malaysia and Singapore have just lodged a complaint against Jakarta concerning the poisonous gases that have reached them. But will the arrogant attitude of the Indonesian government with regards to its neighbours and its own population change during the COP 21 summit? The stakes are colossal concerning both economy and climate. Indonesia, one of the biggest polluters on the planet, is a developing country that wishes to continue its economic growth despite the environmental damage done.

Only a real change in the Indonesian's government's attitude with regard to the palm oil companies can reverse the trend and stop the deforestation. In Europe and elsewhere, consumers have a role to play by refusing to use products containing palm oil.

Some words about Kalaweit:

The organization was created in 1997 by Chanee, a frenchman passionate about gibbons. Gibbons are members of the great apes and live in Southeast Asia. They are threatened by massive deforestation that destroys their habitat to enable the production of palm oil.

In Indonesia, the organization acquires gibbons kept illegally, protects the forests and helps raise awareness in the local people thanks to Radio Kalaweit FM and a TV series, "Kalaweit Wildlife Rescue". Muriel Robin is Kalaweit's ambassador. The organization exists only through donations.

(Attached : Palangkaraya city (Borneo) on the 30th of September, 2015, visiblity 50 to 100 meters)


Oct 22, 2014
Bel Air
We're on a collision course with world destruction M, sad but true. The Indonesian government is so corrupt nothing will ever change. Anyone with money to bribe officials will have the last say in that country.

As the world's population grows, so to does the need for goods, a good portion of that oil is being used in the production of biodiesel. It's not a whole hell of a lot better in South America, slash and burn to grow palm oil and cattle is destroying the Amazon rain forest at an alarming rate. These large tall forests have modified weather patterns for millennia and in just a short time they'll be gone. Tropical cyclones will become more intense causing widespread damage and loss of life.