Palm oil has long been associated with the devastation of rainforest ecosystems and biodiversity loss. There is no denying that conventional production of palm oil has led to these kind of negative impacts, which serves as the impetus for driving sustainability in this industry. This webinar will explore how sustainable practices work to protect vital ecosystems and allow biodiversity to thrive, and why leading conservation experts and organisations around the world are calling for sustainable palm oil to be the norm.
Michelle Desilets, Executive Director, Orangutan Land Trust, United Kingdom
Michelle is the Founder and Executive Director of Orangutan Land Trust (2009 to present) and has been working in orangutan conservation for 29 years. Michelle helped to create the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Reintroduction Project in Borneo. Today, this project is the world’s largest primate rescue project, having saved the lives of over 1000 orangutans and is run by the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation. Michelle previously founded and directed the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation UK (2001-2009).
The mission of the Orangutan Land Trust is to provide sustainable solutions for the long-term survival of the orangutan in the wild, by ensuring safe areas of forest for its continued survival. The focus is on protecting critical areas of orangutan habitat. Because the conversion of habitat for oil-palm plantations represents the greatest threat to the survival of the orangutan, Michelle feels the single-most effective way to save the orangutan is through working to ensure that palm oil is produced sustainably. She has voluntarily served on numerous committees for the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (including Biodiversity and HCV Working Group, the No Deforestation Taskforce, New Plantings Procedures Working Group, Taskforce for Review of the Principles & Criteria of the RSPO 2013 and 2018 and 2023, Complaints Panel and Dispute Settlement Facility Advisory Board). She created the PONGO (Palm Oil and NGO) Alliance, a coalition of some of the biggest palm oil growers, environmental NGOs and scientific experts with the vision of “Making resilient landscapes for wildlife and people a reality.”
The Orangutan Land Trust also supports conservation activities protecting forests and orangutans throughout Borneo and Sumatra.
The material presented in this webinar has not been peer-reviewed. Any opinions are the presenter’s own and do not necessarily represent those of IChemE or the Palm Oil Processing Special Interest Group. The information is given in good faith but without any liability on the part of IChemE.
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This webinar is free of charge and open to all to attend, but if you wish to access the slides and a recording to replay on demand then you will need to be a member of the Palm Oil Processing Special Interest Group.